President Kenyatta Calls for Quality Health Services as Kenya Positions itself as Regional Healthcare Hub and Investment Destination

by Noah Wekesa

Amref Health Africa, Express Communications Limited, the Ministry of Health and other partners hosted the inaugural Kenya Healthcare Convention bringing together over 350 health stakeholders in efforts to promote Kenya as a regional healthcare hub and healthcare investment destination.

The convention aims to showcase to Kenyans what is available locally in terms of quality of health services that require specialised treatment and to position the country as a medical tourist’s destination.

In his keynote address at the opening ceremony of the two-day convention, H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta noted that healthy citizens are integral to building healthy economies. He called on all health sector players, both private and public, to come together to ensure the delivery of quality health services in efforts to attain Universal Health Coverage, a critical pillar of Kenya’s strategy for sustained economic transformation.

“It is estimated that about 10,000 Kenyans seek medical treatment abroad spending over Kshs 10 billion while those who seek medical services in Kenya from neighbouring countries are estimated to be about 4,000 and spend about Kshs 3 billion annually for that service.”

The President encouraged strengthening the partnership between private and public health service providers as the success of these efforts will greatly benefit everyone who requires quality and affordable health care.

Speaking at this inaugural event that saw the Ministry of Health launch two key documents that will guide the monitoring of quality across the health sector, the newly appointed Cabinet Secretary of Health Mutahi Kagwe reiterated the Ministry’s commitment to delivering on every Kenyan’s right to quality health services.

“The Ministry of Health is fully committed to ensuring that the right of every person to the highest attainable standard of health is upheld in line with the Constitution of Kenya 2010. This is embodied through our quality policy statement that highlights a dedication to providing equitable, affordable, accessible and quality health and related services to all Kenyans. The cost of health care in Kenya should be less than or equal to that offered in India,” said the Health Cabinet Secretary.

Also speaking during the first plenary session of the convention, Prof Khama Rogo spoke about the cost of health care on the African continent.

“In Africa, we pay 3 to 15 times more for pharmaceutical commodities than India. This is not because of manufacturing but because of corruption. Corruption must be eradicated from the health sector to realise quality health care,” remarked Prof Rogo.

President Kenyatta launched Kenya’s Quality of Care Certification Manual and Quality of Care Certification Framework, marking a key milestone in the nation’s quality improvement efforts. The key documents will guide in shaping the modalities for monitoring the quality of inputs, processes and outcomes of health services delivery to ensure that they are of a high standard, are safe, acceptable and provide positive experiences for both providers and users.

Developed with the support of Amref Health Africa and other partners, the documents will also guide the establishment of a collective quality assurance platform for all service providers in the light of UHC thus creating a level playing ground to facilitate strategic purchasing of health services from different providers and to act as a comparative frame for users in decision making while accessing services.

The inaugural Kenya Healthcare Convention is also expected to catalyse the identification of a range of national government agencies and policy initiatives to stimulate and promote medical tourism in Kenya.

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