Murang’a county government will start offering free inpatient medical services from January next year.
Governor Mwangi wa Iria said this followed the case where over 25,000 admitted to public hospitals could not clear their bills.
He said the county will be the first to deliver a universal health programme in the country.
Wa Iria made the announcement during his swearing-in ceremony at Ihura Stadium on Friday.
He said the county will start a managed insurance scheme in partnership with NHIF.
This will see everyone admitted to a public hospital in the county treated free of charge.
“All that patients will require to benefit from this scheme is an identity card proving that they are residents of the county.”
Wa Iria noted that it is a priority of the county government to offer quality and accessible healthcare to all its citizens.
“We don’t want any more cases of patients being detained in hospitals due to lack of money to pay their bills,” he added.
Wa Iria added that the county government will establish two Level 4 hospitals in Gatanga sub-county.
Patients suffering from chronic diseases especially diabetes, arthritis, cancer, hypertension, and asthma will also receive free NHIF card.
The county is already offering NHIF cards to the elderly in the county.
The governor exuded confidence that his second term will be devoid of theatrics that was experienced in the county in the past five years.
Wa Iria noted that several unsubstantiated complaints were lodged with the EACC against the county government.
He cited the case against him over the subsidized artificial insemination services that the county started offering in 2014.
“A few people felt aggrieved that they would no longer overcharge farmers and wanted us to revoke the programme,” he said.
“Those who are planning to do the same or try to sabotage my projects should know that I will not allow them this time round.”
The county boss said he does not have time to deal with sideshows meant to disorient his focus from his projects.
“We want to start a new county government devoid of court cases. All these cases are just wasting public funds that could be used on projects.”
The governor is yet to outline steps the county will take to sustain the free in-patient programme.
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