The Cabinet has approved a new plan to lease equipment for public hospitals and improve infrastructure.
The plan will be under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement. The private sector will be involved in equipping and maintenance of hospitals. At the moment, it is the government that does so.
In its first meeting this year chaired by President Uhuru Kenyatta, the Cabinet said the plan was intended to fast-track the government’s goal of attaining the highest possible health standards for all citizens.
“The plan will involve the government paying for services rendered while the equipment will be owned by a private entity,” read the statement from State House.
The Cabinet said the private organisation would guarantee maintenance and service of the equipment and replacements with no interruption of service delivery as long as the contract was in force.
The project will also focus on providing critical care services where there is a huge gap as the country has only 64 public Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds which is just 10 per cent of the what is needed.
The Cabinet also agreed that other need areas to benefit were renal care services where only 820 patients were admitted against a demand of more than 8,000 new patients every year.
“Renal care facilities are only found in five major public hospitals. There is an existing gap of 80 per cent as only 44 dialysis units are available against a demand of 200,” observed the Cabinet.
On oncology, the government will acquire radiotherapy equipment which is expected to be a relief for cancer patients.
Currently, the cost of cancer treatment is beyond the reach for many Kenyans. More than 22,000 cancer deaths are reported in the country every year.
“Under the project, modern facilities will be made available in key public hospitals for better diagnosis of patients, enabling the hospitals to provide better treatment. The programme will benefit all counties over an initial 10-year period,” said the Cabinet.
The implementation of the project will be done in collaboration with all county governments whose functions include health management.
The government manages the only two referral hospitals in the country: Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi and Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu county.