Emergency medical care is still in its infancy in Kenya. The Kenya Emergency Medical Care Policy 2020-2030, launched last year by the Ministry of Health, seeks to establish a working Emergency Medical Care (EMC) System in the country as a key component of the healthcare system.
With this in mind, the Emergency Care Symposium 2022 (#ECSKenya2022) held at the Kenya School of Government from the 3rd – 4th November 2022 brought together such a fantastic group of healthcare providers and policymakers from over 20 Counties to showcase emergency medical care development in their counties and share ideas that will further guide and inform the development of universal emergency medical care across Kenya.
The Director of Public Health and Chair of the National Emergency Medical Care Steering Committee of the Ministry of Health, Brig.(Dr) Francis Kuria opened the symposium. He highlighted that beyond the policies, systems, and standards being developed by the Ministry of Health, there is a need for a paradigm shift in how we think about emergency medical care in Kenya. We need to think of low-cost interventions in emergency medical care services that can change what we do and how we do it as a County and as a country. He mentioned that the Ministry of Health was committed to implementing the Kenya Emergency Medical Care Policy 2020-2030 launched last year through the National Emergency Medical Care Steering Committee at the Ministry of Health.
The priority areas for the committee are;
- Establish prehospital and emergency department standards
- Develop an appropriate framework for the establishment of the Emergency Medical Care Treatment Fund
- Amend the Health Act to include the ‘Emergency Medical Care Bill’, which will develop the Emergency Medical Care Authority
He also mentioned that the committee solicits and is open to receiving and considering the views of members of the public and any interested groups and promotes consultative stakeholder involvement.
Representing the Council of Governors, Dr Emmanuel Wamalwa read a speech by the Chair of the Council of Governors, H.E. Anne Waiguru. In her speech, she emphasised that the Council of Governors were committed to driving good healthcare in the country. “There is a need for an emergency healthcare system to deal with communicable diseases, non-communicable diseases, accidents and injuries from roads or occupational related emergencies. The Council of Governors is also prioritising working with County Governments to ensure emergency medical care systems ranging from prehospital settings through to tertiary care receiving centres are integrated.”