KEPSA health sector board holds a Ministerial Stakeholders’ Forum

Kenya Healthcare Federation (KHF), the health sector board at KEPSA, held a Ministerial Stakeholder’s Forum on Tuesday 18th April, 2017 at Afya house. The main aim of the meeting was to follow up on issues affecting Kenya’s health sector with its main focus on progressive realization of the Universal Health Coverage (UHC). The meeting was chaired by the Ministry Permanent Secretary (PS), Dr. Julius Korir and co-chaired by the KHF Chair, Dr. Amit Thakker.

KHF

In his opening remarks, the PS underscored the important role the MSF plays in enhancing favorable business environment as well as increasing access to affordable healthcare. He also pointed out that the private sector owned 48% of the health facilities in Kenya therefore playing a key role in providing health services to the people of Kenya. The co-chair went on to introduce KHF to the newly appointed PS and explained the role it plays at KEPSA and in turn to the country’s health sector.

The private sector through its chair pointed out that its members are still concerned with multiple taxation and levies from the regulatory authorities and suggested that there should be a single window regulation for payments of all fees and permits; fast tracking of institutionalization of Kenya Food and Drugs Authority (KFDA) and also for the Health Bill to become an Act.

Dr. Thakker went on to stress that the private sector would appreciate an accreditation system of facilities at NHIF since it is still an area of concern and pointed out that operations including enrolment and empanelment needs to be improved. He also emphasized that overall efficiency gains will provide better value. It is in this regard that KHF has engaged MOH and NHIF leadership on key reform agenda and also established a steering committee between the KHF and NHIF. This was done to fast track reforms and strengthen NHIF. He went on to say that KHF felt the need for and appropriate balance between current capitation rates/reimbursements and the NHIF benefits package and that there should be provision for choice by allowing “opt out” mechanism under a suitable regulatory framework.

“The VAT rule applies and the Private Sector continues to pay the new charge to the authorities. However, this rule affects providers serving both the urban and rural populations of Kenya,” the KHF Chair went on to provide solutions by saying, “Reversing the recently introduced VAT on these items and possibly harmonizing the entire tax implications on the health industry will promote affordable care”.

This among other issues were discussed at length during the 3 hour long meeting and the PS was quite assuring and told all members present that the Public Private Partnership unit at the Ministry was working hard towards seeing all these issues addressed and hoped for better feedback during the next MSF.