NEC asked to review Christian health services budget

The Ministry of Health and HIV has advised the National Executive Council (NEC) through a submission this week to review the 2016 Christian Health Service (CHS) budget.

“Through the normal readjustments to the 2016 National Budget, the CHS be also considered for possible reinstatement of funding gap of K47.3 million,” Minister Michael Malabag said yesterday.

Malabag said the budget cut in the 2016 budget has affected the 47 percent of the health care provision by CHS, especially in rural areas where the government falls short to reach.

“CHS plays a pivotal role in curative health care as well as primary health care before the attainment of independence in 1975, and are continuing to provide quality health care compared to the government health facilities,” he said.

Churches rely heavily on revenues generated from user fees to finance their operations whereas the support by government, in terms of CHS grants, represents about 30 percent of their total annual budget requirements, he said.

“The 2015 budget scenario was in fact good because the essence in the 2014 budget submission was finally realised in 2015 budget, with only K1m difference from the government appropriated K149 million to the CHS,” the minister said.

However, the reduced budget by 32 percent this year will have an adverse impact on personnel emolument and good and services budgets, he said.

Malabag feared losing half of the NHS staff and people would miss out on services they deserved therefore, he urged NEC to give priority to the people.

“The budget reduction will directly affect the effective implementation of the free health care policy, a priority sector policy for the government,” he said, adding that negligence to the submission will greatly affect our country.

Jacob Marcos