With 34 billion shillings out of the expected total budget of 1.65 trillion Kenya Shillings, our government has yet again relegated your health and mine to a forgotten corner. The above figure translates to 2.01% of our total budget and about 2.8 % of the National GDP.
This represents budget ‘cutting’ of close to 60% from what was allocated last financial year. With the dwindling resources, come additional responsibilities for the Kenyan doctor, the promise of free maternal care in all government hospitals and free health care in all health centers and dispensaries. This free healthcare, for your kind information, would be approximated to cost about 20 billion shillings.
The amount allocated gives you just 850 shillings as the per capita allocation for health, meaning your government will only spend that much for your health, in all these programs that not only focus on treatment but prevention of maladies.
WHY is this? I know why. Simply because death and disease-disability are usually very much private affairs. You die alone, away from the glare of the public. Unlike roads which remain beautiful and soaring and therefore a very ‘real’ benchmark for seeking re-election. To our leaders, it’s all about the next elections, I suspect.
I am still waiting, no abated breath though, for Kenyans to learn and act, probably react, like they did in social media a few days ago. As a doctor, I can only give the services I am facilitated to give. Demand for this right, it is your responsibility.