Taita Taveta visits Nakuru to benchmark on the Facility Improvement Fund Model
Written by Ruth Magak
A team from Taita Taveta, led by their County Executive Committee Member for Health, Gifton Mkaya, is currently visiting Nakuru to learn about how healthcare is managed and delivered in the County. Nakuru has a reputation as a place where other counties come to learn, and Taita Taveta is now joining more than 40 other counties that have previously visited to study Nakuru’s healthcare financing model.
Nakuru County was recently recognized as a model County for the Facility Improvement Fund (FIF) implementation by the Council of Governors. Nakuru has been working to improve the health outcomes of its residents by reinvesting the fees collected at Level 4 hospitals and the County Referral and Teaching Hospital to enhance the quality of healthcare services.
Governor Susan Kihika has been dedicated to sustaining healthcare efforts, including automating the drug management system, as promised during her election campaign. She has implemented legislative structures to ensure that the Facility Improvement Fund is retained and reinvested in improving services and healthcare facilities, a commitment that she has maintained from her time as the Speaker of the County Assembly.
Nakuru’s Facility Improvement Fund has steadily increased due to automated revenue collection, resulting in a collection of 1.5 billion Kenyan Shillings in the last financial year. The funds are used to support lower-level hospitals (Level 2 and 3) with drugs and staffing, while Level 4 facilities operate autonomously with efficient management.
Jacqueline Osoro, County Executive for Health, praised the political support from Governor Susan Kihika and the County Assembly for ensuring smooth and efficient healthcare management.
Dr. John Murima, the Chief Officer for Medical Services and the accounting officer in the Department of Health, emphasized that the Facility Improvement Fund model has set a trend in securing financial autonomy for health facilities, ensuring quality healthcare delivery. He highlighted that strong risk management within the Department’s Internal Audit has led to improved fund management, with external audits confirming better financial management by hospitals.
The automation of revenue collection has helped plug financial loopholes and increase collections, with hospitals estimated to collect 1.5 billion Kenyan Shillings quarterly. Hospitals are able to reinvest 100% of what they collect into service delivery.
The Taita Taveta team, like other counties before them, will visit the Nakuru County Referral and Teaching Hospital and select Level 4 hospitals, such as PGH Annexe, to witness the positive effects on the healthcare system.