Putting Adequate Financial and Human Resources in Healthcare for Effective Universal Health Coverage in Kenya: Lessons and Experiences from China
In recent years, most low and middle-income countries, have adopted different approaches to universal health coverage (UHC), to ensure equity and financial risk protection in accessing essential healthcare services. UHC-related policies and delivery strategies are largely based on existing healthcare systems, a result of gradual development (based on local factors and priorities). Most countries have emphasized on health financing, and human resources for health (HRH) reform policies, based on good practices of several healthcare plans to deliver UHC for their population.
Health financing and labor market frameworks were used, to understand health financing, HRH dynamics, and to analyze key health policies implemented over the past decade in Kenya’s effort to achieve UHC. Through the understanding, policy options are proposed to Kenya; analyzing, and generating lessons from health financing, and HRH reforms experiences in China. Data was collected using mixed methods approach, utilizing both quantitative (documents and literature review), and qualitative (in-depth interviews) data collection techniques.
The problems in Kenya are substantial: high levels of out-of-pocket health expenditure, slow progress in expanding health insurance among informal sector workers, inefficiencies in pulling of health are revenues, inadequate deployed HRH, maldistribution of HRH, and inadequate quality measures in training health worker. The government has identified the critical role of strengthening primary health care and the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) in Kenya’s move towards UHC. Strengthening primary health care requires; re-defining the role of hospitals, and health insurance schemes, and training, deploying and retaining primary care professionals according to the health needs of the population; concepts not emphasized in Kenya’s healthcare reforms or programs design. Kenya’s top leadership commitment is urgently needed for tougher reforms implementation, and important lessons from China’s extensive health reforms in the past decade are beneficial. Key lessons from China include health insurance expansion through rigorous research, monitoring, and evaluation, substantially increasing government health expenditure, innovative primary healthcare strengthening, designing, and implementing health policy reforms that are responsive to the population, and regional approaches to strengthening HRH.
Human Resources for Health (HRH)
Universal Health Coverage (UHC)
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Rights for Collection: Masters Theses
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