President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday opened the Kenyatta University Teaching, Research and Referral Hospital in Nairobi.
The president hailed the health institution and appealed to governors to form partnerships with referral hospitals to bridge the healthcare gap in the counties.
He said the mentorship programme would help the county hospitals upgrade critical health services.
“To ensure Universal Health Coverage is not just a dream, the government has fostered a mentorship programme through which Level 6 hospitals are helping to upgrade critical services in some level 5 hospitals," he said.
Currently, the country has six referral hospitals including Kenyatta University Teaching and Referral Hospital, which officially opened its doors to patients yesterday, Kenyatta National Hospital and Othaya Teaching and Referral Hospital.
Uhuru mentioned Nyeri and Kiambu as some of the counties that had already signed deals with Level 6 hospitals.
"This strategy has already seen KNH establish an annex at Othaya Hospital in Nyeri. I want to encourage the Council of Governors to consider partnering with Level 6 hospitals and I'm sure that such partnerships will lead to immense benefits for those respective counties,” said Uhuru.
Kenyatta University Teaching, Research and Referral Hospital is a 650-bed facility that includes a 76-bed Cancer Centre, Renal, cardiology and physiotherapy units.
Some of the fully operational departments include General Surgery, Cardiology, Obstetrics/ Gynaecology, and Neurosurgery.
Yesterday's launch was also marked by the laying of a foundation stone for an Integrated Molecular Imaging and Hospitality Centre.
Uhuru said as the government continued with Universal Healthcare, Kenyans would see an improvement in healthcare services.
The new hospital will be part of the national response to the growing cancer scourge.
"I believe with this oncology centre, the hospital is able to provide early diagnosis and management options for cancer and renal diseases," he said.
The hospital had signed a memorandum of understanding with the University of Manchester Christies Hospital to establish a cancer research centre and specialised training of all its staff.