Nakuru partners with Thinkwell Kenya Ltd to improve health financing system
Nakuru County has today signed an agreement with a Bill & Melinda-supported organisation to seek the best ways of financing the provision of health services and improving performance in public health facilities.
Nakuru County Governor H E Susan Kihika said the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Thinkwell Kenya Limited will help the County to develop a better health financing system, find ways of raising new revenues and design ways of maximizing the use of available resources to improve the provision of Primary Healthcare (PHC).
We have entered into a partnership with Thinkwell Kenya today in our bid to craft a health system that can cushion our people from costly health services and how we can raise new revenues as well as utilize better available resources to maximize the delivery of quality and affordable health services, she said after signing the MoU at the County Headquarters.
The MoU, which will be implemented for three years at a cost of Kshs 30 million by Thinkwell Kenya Ltd, will focus on evaluating health financing systems in the County and how they can be improved to get more health services out of existing revenues.
Under the agreement, Thinkwell Kenya will seek ways to strengthen Nakuru County health financing including increasing fiscal space for PHC; evaluating the supply chain management of drugs, non-pharmaceutical and medical equipment, assessing the payment modalities for PHC services, especially using National Health Insurance Funds (NHIF) in Level 2 and Level 3 Hospitals; rationalize deployment of staff based on workload, facilitate healthcare workers with skills, ability and capacity to use funds for inputs based on data-driven needs; and institute robust evidence-driven planning and budgeting at all levels.
Given the shortfalls in budgetary allocations from its own revenue or equitable revenue from National Government, Nakuru County readily works with development partners to co-create high-impact, context-specific and fit-for-purpose solutions to improve the delivery of health services to its residents, she said flanked by County Executive Committee Member (CECM) for Health, Ms Jaqueline Osoro and County Attorney, Mr Caleb Nyamwanga.
Dr Ann Musuva, Thinkwells Regional Director for East Africa who signed the MoU on behalf of the organization, said the evaluation of health financing systems in Nakuru will focus on how the County has been utilizing the provision of the NHIF rebates at Level 2 and Level 3 hospitals, the supply chain management, and staff rationalization in health facilities.
“Thinkwell Kenya is pleased to have signed an agreement with Nakuru County to help the County improve the financing of health systems in order to attain optimum outcomes. We will assist Nakuru to get more health services for the money allocated, she said.
Dr Musuva explained: We will seek to create more fiscal space to support healthcare, evaluate and improve how Nakuru participates in NHIF, especially at Level 2 and Level 3 hospitals, and how to rationalize staff to achieve optimum performance because we know that 65 per cent of resources meant for health is spent on staff. We will also track purchases of commodities from Kemsa (Kenya Medical Supplies Agency) down to the patients in hospitals.
Dr Musuva said they will deploy experts in Nakuru County to carry out evaluations in individual hospitals and come up with recommendations that will help the County perform better within the allocations made towards healthcare.
“In the next three years, we will bring experts from our partner organizations to carry out evaluations and the recommendations will be phased. We will spend approximately Kshs30 million on this project,” she said.
With support from Bill & Melinda Gates, Thinkwell Kenya implements strategic purchasing for primary healthcare projects in ten counties in Kenya to improve how governments purchase primary healthcare services.