President’s speech – contract signing for equipment of hospitals

SPEECH BY PRESIDENT UHURU KENYATTA, DURING SIGNING OF CONTRACTS FOR MEDICAL EQUIPMENT FOR COUNTY HOSPITAL STATE HOUSE, NAIROBI

6TH FEBRUARY, 2015

Fellow Kenyans,

I am very delighted to preside over this event this morning.

 For many years, Kenyans have struggled painfully to obtain effective treatment for serious health conditions. Patients and families alike have undergone distressing ordeals, travelling far and wide for health services.

 At Independence, we identified sickness as one of the enemies that continued to plague our Nation.  The struggle against illness has enlisted families and communities into a full-time, costly war.  Hundreds of thousands of Kenyans have had to travel across our borders and often between continents to be treated.  The toll on patients, their families and the Nation is colossal.

 Ladies and Gentlemen,

 The right to affordable healthcare as recognised by the Constitution is informed by sound legal, political and economic reasoning.

The most promising and successful individuals and families can be impoverished by the cost of medical treatment for serious and chronic conditions.  The economy loses billions when productive individuals are distracted or retired for medical reasons.  When we send people abroad for treatment, we lose money that has been saved or plucked from other investments. The law therefore, enjoins us to heal our Nation by treating the people effectively and affordably.

 

My Government’s pledge to transform Kenya will not succeed if we do not also win the struggle against illness.  We have pledged to deliver a national transformation which recognises, upholds and articulates our people’s rights.  In our march to the future, we have committed ourselves to achieve a shared prosperity where no Kenyan is left behind.  We have undertaken to fight inequality and marginalisation, and to work for an equal opportunity for all.  

 One of the areas where inequality manifests itself most starkly in our country, is access to quality healthcare. This inequality, literally, is a matter of life and death.  It is our irrevocable commitment to deliver equal access to high quality treatment to all Kenyans wherever they live, and regardless of their economic status.  We want to relieve patients and families of the burden of uncertainty in connection with access to treatment. It is important to make quality treatment a matter of “when?”, not “if?” in order to make Kenyans healthier, happier and more productive.

 Today is an overdue milestone.  Today, we inaugurate a programme through which people with cancer, diabetes or kidney failure will receive much needed relief, and begin to work towards regaining their full health with more confidence.  My Government has dedicated sufficient resources to ensure that Kenyans access modern, effective and high quality treatment in their counties.

We want to collaborate with county governments and the medical profession to ensure that Kenyans travel abroad for treatment only because they want to, and not because they have to.  Through transparent, cost-effective, and innovative financing, my Government has established a programme to access and manage modern, state-of-the-art and well-maintained medical equipment.  All counties will have one Level 4 and one Level 5 hospital equipped with theatre, laboratory, renal, intensive care and radiology equipment.  

 

Kenyans will be able to have specialised and hi-tech medical tests and therapies in their county. 98 hospitals will benefit from this programme.  Through the Managed Equipment Services programme, we have assigned the burden of installation, maintenance and replacement to people who are best suited for the job, so that the national and county governments can focus on delivering treatment in a dedicated, consistent manner.  This programme is fully financed by our national Exchequer.

 The necessary budgetary arrangements are in place; this programme is not a one-off.  We shall make 38 billion shillings available to deliver health services to our people.  We have adopted a programme used by Spain, the United Kingdom and The Netherlands in providing assured quality health services.  Each county will now have at least two fully-fledged diagnostic centres where you can receive proper screening and effective treatment.  Today, we inaugurate the transformation of medical treatment for Kenyans.

 Today, we deliver relief to families and communities which are held back by the high cost of getting treatment for loved ones.  Today, we are poised to strike a decisive blow in our struggle to win freedom from sickness and secure the right to quality healthcare.

 This programme is the fruit of productive consultation between both levels of Government.  I am grateful for the cooperation of governors and Members of Parliament.

 

In the days to come, its continued success will be an inspiring model of how national and county governments can generate transformational synergies.  I am encouraged by the excellent start we have made.  I expect that all involved in this programme will dedicate themselves to ensuring that Kenyans receive affordable medical services of the highest quality without hindrance.

 Ladies and Gentlemen,

 In conclusion, I expect nothing but professionalism and transparency in the delivery of these services.

Kenyans have invested a lot of money, and they must receive the services they have paid for without delay or argument.

 Kenyans cannot wait any longer for transformed health services.  Let us work together, with the Ministry of Health as the focal point, to deliver transformed treatment to Kenya through the Managed Equipment Services.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Thank you and God Bless you.