Kenyan Doctors’ Professional Body Proposes Fee Reduction To Support UHC

NAIROBI, Kenya – In an effort made to support the attainment of universal health coverage (UHC) in Kenya, a doctors’ board has proposed the cutting of doctors’ professional fees, signalling a chance for better times for ordinary citizens in the coming days.

The Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board (MPDB) on 11 January presented to the Health Cabinet Secretary, Cicily Kariuki, the proposal which recommends the reduction by 20 per cent of the fees charged by private practitioners.

“The ministry is pleased to announce the outcome of the review of the doctor’s fees. The proposal recommends the adjustment downward of the existing … doctor’s maximum and minimum fees,” said Kariuki.

According to the secretary, the goodwill of doctors in the process of supporting universal health coverage that will improve and ensure affordability cannot go unappreciated.

“They have essentially given Wanjiku [ordinary citizens] a 41 per cent reduction,” Kariuki said in a statement.

The proposal has been sent to the National Assembly in line with its recommendation. If adopted, the minimum consultation fee charged by general practitioners will drop from shillings 1800 to 1440 (US$18 to 14) and the maximum from shillings 5000 to 4000 (US$50 to 40). For specialist doctors, it will drop to US$29 for the minimum and US$60 for the maximum.

The board wants the cost of giving birth reduced from US$360 to 298 for minimum, while maximum reduced from US$720 to 570.

Insurance companies had threatened to raise premiums if the charges are not reduced.

Last month Kenya launched UHC pilot programmes in four select counties, which it hopes will roll out countrywide by 2022. The private sector is seen as a crucial player in making the programme successful. The project targets 3.2 million people in the four counties.

 

Image Credits: Wikipedia – Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board.

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