The Health ministry has urged counties to increase their healthcare budgets in support of President Uhuru Kenyatta's universal healthcare plan.
Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki said on Saturday that although the government is committed to making healthcare free for all Kenyans, counties must ensure more financial resources are allocated to the sector.
Speaking during the launch of the universal health coverage household registration drive at Kivaani health centre in Kangundo, Machakos County, the CS warned leaders against politicising the programme.
"Free healthcare is still dear to the president. It is therefore important for leaders to keep [politics away from it]," she said.
Governor Alfred Mutua urged all Machakos residents to get registered in order to enjoy free healthcare services under the plan.
"I urge all residents to ensure no one is left out of this registration which is a free ticket for services at all public hospitals," he said.
The governor claimed that some members of county (MCAs) assembly are being used by powerful people to derail his development agenda.
"Those MCAs have not been acting in the interest of the poor citizens but to satisfy the wishes of their political masters," he said.
Dr Mutua said his government is committed to improving infrastructure at all public health institutions for the programme to be successful.
"We have procured 80 ambulances and upgraded 32 health centres into hospitals. My government has also increased the budgetary allocation for health from Sh2.3 billion in 2013 to Sh4.4 billion in 2018," he said.
Kangundo legislator Fabian Kyule also asked residents to register for the programme, noting it will lessen their expenses.
Deputy Governor Francis Maliti and County Commissioner Abdulahi Galgalo also attended the function.