The County has hired more than 200 medical staff to spearheaded the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) programme.

Governor Mutahi Kahiga said with the available manpower the county was set to roll out the project meant to ensure all Kenyans have access to quality healthcare. “We have already hired 137 medical personnel and are intending to send out an additional 77 appointment letters for more staff,” he said.

Last month, the county health department shared shortlisted names of 47 registered nurses, 45 clinical officers, 12 laboratory technologists and seven radiographers. Others were four health records officers, three social workers, three plaster technicians, two community oral health officers and two pharmaceutical technologists. Kahiga said Nyeri had qualified staff all the way from dispensaries to the referral facility. The county, he said, had also set aside Sh350 million for purchase of drugs in addition to Sh399 million worth of drugs from the national government. “We are expecting the final batch of drugs from Kenya Medical Supplies Agency this week, and have ensured enough drugs are at each dispensary, health centre and referral facility to roll out the programme, which is on pilot project here in Nyeri,” the governor explained. Most of the drugs will be dispatched directly to the facilities and will largely cater for non-communicable diseases such as cancer, diabetes and hypertension.

Nyeri residents registered under the UHC and visit the facility assigned under the programme  will not pay for medical services. “The goal of UHC is  to ensure affordable and accessible healthcare by implementing a working referral system where minor ailments can be treated at the dispensary and health centres,” he said. He asked Nyeri residents to rely on the referral system, failure to which they would be charged for services. “If you go directly to the referral hospital without a referral from the other hospitals, then you will be charged. However, if you follow the procedure you will not pay,” Kahiga said. However, in case of emergency and for patients from outside Nyeri County, one can still access services at normal rates charged at the county referrall hospital.

Ambulance services from any health facility within the county are also free. Kahiga said registration for UHC would continue until they release success.

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