Governors want free maternity costs re-evaluated

What you need to know:

  • Mr Munya said the the current free maternity service subsidy is being sabotaged by delays in releasing funds.
  • Governors threatened to withdraw the free maternity service over delays in disbursement of funds.
  • Council of Governors hope to meet the Ministry of Health to look into ways of improving the free maternity services

Governors want the national government to do a fresh cost analysis of the free maternity services to cater for pre-natal and post-natal care.

Council of Governors Chairman Peter Munya said the current free maternity service subsidy leaves a bigger burden to county governments.

Speaking to the Nation, Mr Munya said the programme by the National government is also being sabotaged by delays in releasing funds.
This comes after governors threatened to withdraw the services over delays in disbursement of funds.

Recently, Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya threatened to withdraw free maternity services if the national government did not reimburse the county Sh400 million.

Mr Munya, who is also the Meru governor, said they hope to meet the Ministry of Health to look into ways of improving the free maternity services.
“We are not happy with the speed at which the government has been releasing the funds.

“Counties are forced to use their funds to keep the national government programme afloat,” said Mr Munya.

The national government should not continue owning a programme for which it is not meeting the full cost, he added.

Mr Oparanya warned that the Jubilee government flagship project could collapse unless urgent action was taken.

But Health Principal Secretary Nicholas Muraguri has defended the ministry, saying it has disbursed Sh7. 3 billion in the last three years and Sh3 billion in the last three quarters of 2015/2016. The programme is to be jointly implemented by counties and national government.

He added: ““We want to cost the entire service so that it is fully funded. The government is only giving money for delivery yet so much goes into post-natal and pre-natal care. This should be factored in the subsidy.”

Mr Munya said counties are collecting data to enable them establish what the Ministry of health owes them.

Mr Oparanya cautioned that the Jubilee government flagship project could collapse unless urgent action is taken.

“We are unable to continue providing the much needed service due to financial crisis. We demand that the Ministry reimburse the money with immediate effect, failure to which we will be compelled to withdraw the service,” he said.

But Health Principal Secretary Nicholas Muraguri has defended the ministry saying it has disbursed Sh7. 3 billion in the last three years and Sh3 billion in the last three quarters of 2015/2016.

Mr Munya, however, said maternity services may be further subsidized after counties and national government agreed on implementation of a programme funded by the World Health Organization.

The programme is to be jointly implemented by counties and national government.

Welcome!

You're all set to enjoy unlimited Prime content.