The Health Policy Project has ended, but work continues under a new USAID five-year project, Health Policy Plus (HP+).
NEWS & VIEWS
October 7, 2014
NAIROBI, Kenya—The USAID-funded Health Policy Project (HPP) recently convened a consultative forum for leaders of county health services in Kenya. The two-day meeting brought together County Executive Committee (CEC) members for health from 35 of Kenya’s 47 counties to share experiences in managing devolved health services in the country and to identify issues requiring further discussion with the national Ministry of Health (MoH). These issues will be raised at an inter-governmental forum scheduled to take place in October 2014. The forum will bring together national and county government leaders to plan and deliberate on issues affecting the health sector.
At the two-day CEC meeting, participants identified a number of issues to be raised with the national government at the upcoming forum. These included bottlenecks and inefficiencies with financial flows from the national treasury to county governments and the management of donor funds allocated to counties. Meeting participants also agreed to bring the following issues to the forum:
- Redistribution of assets, including vehicles and furniture, to support service delivery at the county level;
- Transfer of assets and liabilities to counties per Transition Authority guidance;
- Management of healthcare staff in public facilities to ensure equitable and uninterrupted service; and
- Management of medical supplies and the development of a new law related to the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA).
CEC members further recommended that capacity building plans and the progress on the development of policy, norms, and standards for health services by the national government be brought for discussion.
Over the last year, the Government of Kenya has devolved different functions in health services to the county governments as demanded by the Constitution. Under the new arrangement, the bulk of health care service delivery has been delegated to county governments, while the national government has retained policy making, training, and leadership roles, as well as the management of referral hospitals. The onset of devolution also brought the need to revise existing documents, develop new ones, and to align programs and activities in the health sector with Kenya’s long-term development agenda, Vision 2030, the 2010 Constitution of Kenya 2010, and global commitments that the country has ratified.
Since 2013, HPP Kenya has worked with the national and county governments to support the transition to a devolved system of government, and put in place the necessary mechanisms for smooth operations. This includes the creation of the Council of CECs and the October inter-governmental forum. HPP also provides support to the national government to revise existing policies and guidelines, and to develop new policies and laws required to implement devolution in the health sector.
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