The government will spend Sh15 billion on the expansion of medical training colleges to meet the country’s demand for skilled health staff, Deputy President William Ruto has said.
Mr Ruto said the money, which had already been approved, would go towards the expansion of laboratories and the construction of hostels.
He said the development of a nation depends on the health and well-being of its people.
The DP added that the government’s plan to have universal healthcare in Kenya would only succeed if there were enough workers to implement the programme.
He spoke Thursday during the 85th Kenya Medical Training College graduation ceremony in Nairobi.
The DP made reference to a recent warning by the World Health Organisation that there would be a shortage of 18 million medical practitioners across the globe in 2030.
This, he said, is the reason Kenya is prioritising the expansion of health institutions.
“As a government, we are committed to the expansion of our health facilities,” said Mr Ruto.
“The government has since devolution increased the number of health facilities from 9,000 to 10,000. But there is a need to increase access so that Kenya can attain universal health coverage.”
He also pledged the government’s commitment to helping elderly people.
“Every Kenyan aged over 70 will from January 2018 benefit from the government’s cash transfer programme and medical cover by the NHIF,” he said.