SECTIONS

Senator Jackson Mandago elected chairperson of Senate Health Committee

Uasin Gishu Senator Jackson Mandago. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Uasin Gishu Senator Jackson Mandago has been elected as the Senate Health Committee Chairperson while Nominated Senator Mariam Omar the Vice Chairperson.

Mr Mandago thanked the committee members for voting for him and reminded them that all 47 counties are facing enormous challenges related to the provision of healthcare.

The Uasin Gishu Senator promised to look into the challenges facing healthcare workers, the shortage of personnel, training of health workers, reforms in the National Insurance Health Fund (NHIF) and the anticipated roll-out of Universal Health Care across the country.

 “The Senate Health Committee members must take their mandate seriously so that the role of counties in the provision of quality healthcare is well articulated so as to ensure that Kenyans easily access quality healthcare cheaply and closer to them,” he said.

The committee chairperson said it was their responsibility to take an active role in the restructuring of the NHIF to make it responsive to the needs of the counties bearing in mind that health care is a fully devolved function.

Mandago raised concern that while NHIF has taken ages to reimburse funds to counties the same has not been the case for private health care providers, who quickly get their refunds on time and that there was need for explanation over why this always happened.

“This committee must be part and parcel of the Universal Health Coverage and roll out and influence how NHIF will operate so as to ensure that no Kenyan fails to get quality medical health care with those coming from poor backgrounds getting serious challenges.

The Uasin Gishu Senator said that the committee will support the proposals made by President William Ruto aimed at improving the health sector in the country since most families were spending a lot of money on medical care impoverishing them.

Narok Senator Ledama ole Kina said that the Committee will look at ways of ensuring accessibility to drugs in public medical facilities to avoid cases where patients are asked to buy medicine from chemists.

“It is our role to ensure that we support our health sector to make public health facilities a one-stop shop for patients seeking services since it is very disappointing for someone from a poor background not getting medical attention because of lack of drugs in public facilities,” said Kina.

Senator Okong’o Mogeni (Nyamira), Abdul Haji (Garissa), Joseph Ngugi (Muranga), Soipan Tuya (Nominated) Raphael Chimera (Nominated), and Hamida Kibwana (Nominated) promised to work closely with the committee leadership to improve the health sector.

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