The Health Policy Project has ended, but work continues under a new USAID five-year project, Health Policy Plus (HP+).
NEWS & VIEWS
NAIROBI, Kenya—Kenya’s Parliamentary Committee on Health begins a three-day meeting this week to conduct a final review of the Kenya Health Policy, which provides the framework that will guide health sector operations between 2014 and 2030.
The workshop, supported by the USAID-funded Health Policy Project in Kenya (HPP/Kenya), will also review the draft Kenya Health Bill, a proposed law which will be the primary health law in the country, and on which other health-related laws will be based. The health bill will establish the legislative environment necessary to support the implementation of health-related provisions in the Constitution.
Kenya Health Policy
The national health policy has been under development over the last three years and is now nearing completion. Upon review by the Parliamentary Committee, the document will be tabled to Parliament for debate and approval, after which it will be officially adopted and disseminated throughout the country.
The policy will guide how Kenya delivers health services to make the “right to health” a reality for Kenyans, as provided for in the Constitution. It will also guide the sector to make contributions to the country’s economic development as envisioned in the document known as Vision 2030. The policy provides guidance on how state and non-state partners will collaborate to ensure resources for health are efficiently used. It integrates devolution and addresses the health provisions under the Constitution. Importantly, the policy embraces a people-centered and multisectoral approach and promotes social accountability in the delivery of healthcare services. It pays special attention to the health rights of children, persons with disabilities, youth, minorities, the marginalized, and older members of society.
Kenya Health Bill
The Kenya Health Bill seeks to consolidate and update the various fragmented health-related laws that currently exist and that are best managed from a unified framework. The proposed law has legally defined and established the Kenya healthcare system and the involved institutions (including regulatory) and their functions, in addition to actualizing the relationship between national and county governments under devolution.
It will also provide basis for the enactment of new laws where gaps have been found, especially in regulation of healthcare services, providers, and products. It lays out the environment for which the health system will deliver on health rights, including access to emergency services. The proposed law enables amendments to existing laws, to include changes that will entrench governance and values required by the Constitution. The amendments will also introduce international best practices and provide for a more robust regulatory framework.
These two documents were developed through a participatory process led by the Ministry of Health. Input was received from a wide range of stakeholders in Kenya, including the Commission on Implementation of the Constitution, the Transition Authority, professional associations and regulatory bodies, and the counties. HPP/Kenya provided technical assistance throughout the process.
This week’s meeting will also be attended by staff from the Ministry of Health, led by the Cabinet Secretary for Health. The Ministry is also developing the third Kenya Health Sector Strategic Plan, with assistance from HPP/Kenya, and the National Health Sector Gender and Equality Policy, which introduces gender equality standards to help the country to provide effective services for all its citizens.
For more information on HPP's work in Kenya, visit www.healthpolicyproject.com/Kenya
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