In the latest updates, Kenya through the National Treasury has allocated KSh15.4 billion in fight to combat the spread of Covid-19 pandemic in the 2021/2022 Sh3.6 trillion budget. Experts now warn that this is little money which exposes the country to relying on donors and may end up resulting to limited supply of resources if the donors may fail to help. Despite many countries focusing on ways to combat the pandemic, Kenya is being drained of its limited revenue by huge interest rates incurred on the mountain of debt weighing the country down.
There were expectations that in the 2021/22 financial year, the health ministry would take the lion's share to help in addressing Coronavirus pandemic and intensify the vaccination process. In the 2021/22 budget, ministry of health is allocated Sh121 billion which is an insignificant increase in the budget compared to the Sh119 billion allocated in 2020/2021 financial year that will end in June.
The allocation to the ministry of health is generally at a negative trajectory. The budget has also reduced the amount of money allocated to the 2 biggest referral hospitals which are the major centers for handling the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the budget Kenyatta National Hospital has been allocated Sh15.2 billion which is a decrease compared to the amount of money allocated in the last budget by Sh100 million while the other largest referral hospital, Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital is set to receive Sh11.2 billion whereby the budget has been reduced by Sh200 million. The budget has been reduced despite these two health institutions facing major challenges such as limited equipment.
It has also been exposed that the government is less committed to Universal Health Coverage (UHC) program. This was one the Big 4 Agenda of the Jubilee government. The major goal of the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) was to allow for easy accessibility to affordable as well as quality health-care for every citizen by the year 2022. Since the head of state president Uhuru Kenyatta will be leaving office next year, the 2021/2022 financial year was the only year to fully implement Universal Health Coverage program. Sadly, there is too little achievement in the UHC goal. In addition to this, the program wasn't included in the budget which may end up killing the whole program.
Following this revelation, Kenyans will continue to incur very high expenditures seeking health care services.
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