The Ministry of Health, with the support of various stakeholders, held a National Health and Leadership Congress from the 23rd-27th of February 2015 under the theme: ‘Transforming Healthcare in a Devolved System through effective Leadership, Management and Governance.’
The Congress brought together health sector stakeholders from the national level and the 47 counties in order to benefit from the expertise and experiences of local and international experts.
Prof Gilbert Kokwaro, representing Strathmore Business School (SBS), questioned the healthcare practitioners on whether existing health systems should be strengthened or replaced by new systems.
Prof Kokwaro mentioned that modern societies value organized health systems that are easily accessible and are of high quality. This in return leads to economic prosperity through improved education attainment, labor market participation and productivity, reduced health expenditure and assist in releasing resources for investment in other areas.
Health systems function as service providers for delivery of personal and non-personal health services, as financiers for revenue collection, pooling of funds and purchasing of services. They also function as investors in equipment, buildings and people (training) and as stewards for careful management of health systems.
With quality healthcare, the care level given to individuals and populations increases the likelihood of desired health outcomes and are consistent with current professional knowledge. Therefore strengthening existing facilities is the priority, asserted Prof Kokwaro.
He then mentioned that addressing leadership is key in addressing health issues, therefore devolution is an opportunity for innovative approaches to strengthening health systems. We seem to be using technology to talk rather than act.
The conferences aim was to take stock of progress made in strengthening health leadership, management and governance in Kenya; reflect on the challenges and emerging opportunities; call for action to prioritize these components in the overall development agenda; identify strategies to address challenges facing health leadership, management and governance in a devolved system to improve health service delivery; share local and international leadership, management and governance best practices with a special focus on devolved health systems; identify mechanisms for coordinating leadership, management and governance support at all levels of health system for optimum results; disseminate the findings of the National Health and Leadership management and governance assessment to stakeholders; and provide a forum for networking and peer exchange among health leaders.
Strathmore Business School plays a key role in implementation of health systems ensuring that medical professionals are well trained in the fields of leadership and management through its Institute of Healthcare Management so as to improve health service delivery in Kenya.