New health scheme is not free, says CS Kariuki

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Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki.

Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki Thursday said the universal health coverage project will not be free.

Ms Kariuki said the 3.2 million residents of the four pilot project counties of Kisumu, Machakos, Isiolo and Nyeri have been getting free medical services in public facilities.

“To sustain UHC we cannot offer a free scheme. A team of experts is working behind the scenes to see how we can make it affordable and sustainable,” the CS said.

She added : “Affordable is not free. UHC does not mean the services are given free. It will be given in a manner that is affordable, sustainable, acceptable and that any Kenyan is able to access essential medical services,” said Ms Kariuki.

The programme was launched to counter the runaway costs of treatment that have been sending poor Kenyans to early graves and consigning thousands of families to poverty.