sabina chege

Parliament to draft a law that regulates drugs and medical care prices in Kenya – Sabina Chege

The Parliamentary committee on Health will formulate a law that will control prices of drugs and medical care in both private and public hospitals.

The committee’s chairperson Sabina Chege has said the exorbitant costs of accessing medical care in the country has locked out many patients who cannot afford it.

Chege said it is unfortunate that some hospitals charge more than Sh. 100,000 for vital health services such as cesarean sections.

“High drugs prices is also a major issue that has been seriously affecting Kenyans who suffer in silence but this will now be controlled by the law,” she said.

The law, she said, will also compel the government to directly provide drugs to the counties through Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa).

Chege noted that this will regulate the drugs being used in hospitals and protect patients from counterfeits.

The MP said some of the diseases that have been on an increase in the country such as cancer have been caused by recklessness in the health sector.

The law will also ensure that funds set aside for health are channeled directly to health facilities to avoid diversion to other functions by county governments.

“What is currently happening is county governments have been using health funds to do other activities without giving special attention to health functions,” she said.

She further pointed out that the law will seal many loopholes that exist in health policies and streamline the sector at the national level while compelling county governments to ensure what is set aside for health is invested in the sector.

Through the law, community health workers will be empowered to treat people in their homes to reduce congestion in hospitals.

Speaking at Rurii stadium in Mathioya during Jamhuri celebrations, Chege however noted that cartels that have controlled the sector for a long time are trying to frustrate the formulation of the law.

She said Murang’a County will benefit in the second phase of the Universal health care coverage that is being piloted in Nyeri, Kisumu, Isiolo and Machakos and is being launched in Kisumu by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Chege also noted that the national government has procured a CT scan machine that is being installed at Murang’a level 5 hospitals and will be launched by the President as a New Year gift to locals, saving them the agony of travelling to Nairobi for the services.

“I have been going round hospitals trying to see how I can work closely with the county government because sometimes I get people who donate equipment that can improve services in health facilities,” she said.

She said she is also partnering with the county leadership to spearhead an NHIF registration drive that will ensure every household is registered.

“NHIF resolves a lot of issues patients face when trying to access medical care especially when its an emergency. We get so many people who get admitted in hospitals an accrue bills amounting to millions that they cannot pay,” she said.

ALICE WAITHERA

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