18 November 2018

Kenya: Governors Against Bill Forcing Counties to Procure Medicines From Kemsa

Nairobi — The Council of Governors has criticised passage of the Health Laws (Amendment) Bill 2018 that will force counties to procure medical supplies from the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA).

Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago who is a member of the Council of Governors Technical Committee on Health said devolved units were against the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority Act.

"As County Governments, we are against the KEMSA Bill that was passed by the National Assembly. Counties should be given the space to fully manage health functions," said Mandago.

If the Bill is assented to by President Uhuru Kenyatta, the Act will make it mandatory for county governments to obtain drugs and medical equipment from KEMSA.

"Universal health can't be achieved by concentrating the procurement function in one entity that is so inefficient and ineffective," he stressed.

The governors noted that in the structure and functions of government provided for in the Constitution, health is a function of devolved government.

"Devolved government is structured in such a way that for the implementation of Universal Health Coverage to succeed, village councils will have to play a vital role. This is because matters regarding health, including provision of clean and potable water, provision of food, environmental protection, and access roads, all touch on the livelihood of every village resident," the Uasin Gishu county chief explained.

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