New regional cancer centres to reduce congestion at referral hospitals

The Government is planning to establish regional cancer treatment centres in a new strategy to decongest referral hospitals in the fight against the killer disease.

Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu said the cancer centres planned for the Coast, Nyanza, Central and Rift Valley regions would save Kenyans money spent while travelling to Kenyatta National Hospital to access the treatment.

This was revealed by Dr Mailu during the State House Summit on Health on Tuesday adding that the Government is equipping and improving infrastructure in public facilities at the county and national level to increase access to health in its effort to deliver the Jubilee administration’s promise on health.

“Cancer diagnosis and treatment can be managed as outpatient ailments with the right equipment in hospitals. Distance, however, force patients to be admitted at the referral hospitals,” Dr Mailu said.

Whilre outlining various programmes put in place by the government to impove health care, the Cabinet Secretary said Ksh98.3 billion has been invested in specialised equipment in hospitals and free healthcare services, including free maternity services, in health centres and dispensaries.

The CS added that the Government has also allocated Ksh20 billion to HIV, TB and Malaria programs among others in a move to ensure Kenyans readily access healthcare services.

“Specialised equipment in Hospitals has been allocated Ksh 38 billion, Free Maternity Service Ksh4.2 billion, free services in health centres and dispensaries (no user fee) Ksh900 million,” Dr Mailu said. “HIV, TB and Malaria programs Ksh20 billion, Ksh28 billion for expansion of NHIF benefit care package to include Chronic Illness while Ksh26 billion is for upgrading healthcare in informal settlements.”

According to the CS, skilled deliveries have doubled from 600,000 to 1.2 million, enabling 58 per cent of Kenyan women to access contraception. He added that, the government distributed 12.6 million mosquito nets to ensure that  majority of children ‘in the country sleep under a net’ while 90 per cent of TB patients get treatment.

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