Local Healthcare Systems in Kenya

The public health system in Kenya is in dire state often marred with cartels, corruption, strikes by doctors and nurses, inadequate medical supplies, high maternal and child-mortality rates, long waiting times and poor access especially in marginalized areas in northern and eastern Kenya. Despite efforts to transform the healthcare system, no significant progress is evident with the exception of a vibrant private health sector.

Although you may need to dig deeper into your pocket, you are better served in private health facilities than in public ones in Kenya. The Kenyan government needs to get its act together to not only provide universal healthcare for all, but to ensure accessible, affordable and acceptable quality healthcare in its public sector.

Structure of Health System

The structure of health systems is designed in such a way that basic primary care is offered at lower levels while complex cases are being referred on higher levels. From the lowest level, the structure includes:

Health dispensaries and privately-owned clinics – Offering outpatient services for minor ailments like colds
Health centers – Catering to cases referred by clinics and dispensaries
Nursing homes and sub-district hospitals – Offering secondary care
District and private hospitals – With resource capacity to offer comprehensive medical services
Provincial hospitals – e.g., Rift Valley Provincial Hospital, etc., with capacity to offer specialized care such as life support
National Hospitals – Such as Kenyatta National hospital and Moi Teaching and Refferal Hospital-offers third level care
Privately-run and mission hospitals – Function to fill in gaps left in the health system

The highest percentage of resources and time in the Kenyan health system is spent treating:

HIV/AIDS
Tuberculosis
Malaria
Pneumonia
Road accidents
Diabetes

Options of healthcare for locals and foreigners

Other than the public health system, varied healthcare options are open for locals and foreigners.

Herbal Medicine

Herbal medicine, a form of alternative medicine, has played an important role in promoting health among Kenyans in rural and urban areas and across the social classes. From treating flu and acne, to complex diseases such as arthritis, diabetes and high blood pressure, etc., herbal medicine is central in health promotion in Kenya. Although issues of safety and efficacy have been cited, herbal medicine remains a major healthcare option for locals and foreigners.

Private Health System

This attracts the largest percentage of patients and clients given the deplorable state of the public health systems. Despite the high charges, many even those who cannot afford prefer this system because of:

Ease in accessibility
Quality health services
Availability of adequate medical services
Limited delay and waiting times

Dental Health

Dental health in Kenya is in poor state given the limited number of dental specialists and limited public awareness about the importance of oral health.

A mere 0.0016% of the health budget is allocated to oral health
More than 90% of adults have a gum condition
Decayed, filled, broken and missing teeth is a norm among Kenyans
Less than 5% of Kenyans access dental health
Dental health is a privilege of the middle and upper classes, and the fact that dental health insurance is costly, and that a majority of dental clinics and specialists are located in urban areas, does not help matters

Cosmetic Coverage / Aesthetic Medicine

A third-world nation it may be but Kenya is not left behind in embracing aesthetic medicine. Often offered by private hospitals, procedures in aesthetic medicine are registering increased number of clientele. From BOTOX, liposuction and facial chemical peels to mesotherapy and breast implants, cosmetic coverage in Kenya is sizeable and growing.

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What Physicians Can Do to Prepare For the New Healthcare System

There has been a great deal of discussion about the new health care reform and whether or not it will affect the business of medical malpractice insurance. Although it has been said that there will be no changes in the business of insurance, there will be many changes in the healthcare industry as a whole. Regardless, now is the time for physicians to prepare for these changes.

It has been estimated that 32,000,000 people will be added to the healthcare system. With such a dramatic increase in people demanding healthcare, there will be an enormous amount of paperwork to process. Likewise, doctors will most likely need to increase their staff because there will be new patients who will have many questions or need help filling out paperwork.

One of the things that physicians can do to prepare is to do a thorough review of their policies and procedures to make sure that there is an established system in place to take care of administrative tasks. The more organized an office is, the easier it will be to process patients’ billing and paperwork.

Another way that physicians can prepare for changes is to make sure every person on their team is properly trained. Everyone has to be on the same page when it comes to caring for patients. This has always been the case, but now more than ever physicians have to be more mindful and conscious of how they are treating people. Providing quality health care will be the determining factor on whether or not a person continues to seek care from a particular physician.

Under the new healthcare reform bill, physicians will be rewarded for high quality, efficient care. There will be increased payments to Medicare Advantage plans that demonstrate care and significantly improve quality.

The bottom line is that physicians need to be flexible and adapt to the inevitable changes in healthcare that will take place in the following years. Keep an open mind and always be on the lookout for ways to improve patient care.

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Healthcare System

Importance Of Technology In Healthcare System

Healthcare is a business today and like any other business the major motto is profit. But at the same time technological advances are required because until and unless the caregivers provide advanced technology and advanced result the patients will not trust them. In most of the countries healthcare is in private sector and the completion has only improved the standard. Use of technology is not only noticed in the use of advanced diagnostic and surgery machineries, but it is also noticed in the administrative system. People want things to be more professional and for that automated report generation, data maintenance, online registration and checking, and other facilities are enabled.

Different Sections Of Healthcare

Today, healthcare is not only limited to doctors and patients. Many new professions have developed in this industry and both the professional and the patients are taking advantage of them. Posts such as clinical assistant, nurse, nursing assistant, therapist, medicine supplier, administrative staff and many more have come in the existence. Each of them has enriched the industry in its own way. The education and qualification needed for each of them is different and people are earning a lot of money by getting involved in these jobs.

Cost Of Healthcare And Medical Insurances

The cost of healthcare is not the same in all healthcare systems around the world. In some countries healthcare is a privilege offered by the government to its people. The cost here is quite less and in many cases the industry comes under the public sector or is partially managed by public sector. But in some other countries the cost is high but thanks to the medical insurances available for the people there, it can be afforded by many people. It is seen that in the third world countries the cost is still out of the reach and as the literacy level is low, people don’t have much knowledge about insurances.

Scope Of Development In Healthcare

Though healthcare systems around the world has improved quite a lot in last few years, there are scopes of improvement still left in it. In some countries the technological advances can be accessed only by the rich. This is not a good sign because the poor are still suffering and dying. There are several researches carried out for finding medicine for life threatening diseases such as AIDs and cancer and in many cases success is achieved. A lot of investment was made for these researches. Though the good results are visible to the world the cost seems to be high. Healthcare system around the world is a growing sector of the market and as time will progress it will be enriched even more with new technique and new thoughts.

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