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Health Act


It Should Be Noted That each County will Also An Act Of Its Own To Govern The Area Of Health Within The County, Since Health Is Now A Devolved Function. Please Refer To Your County For Its Laws. 


· To establish a unified national health system

· To coordinate the relationship between the national and county governments’ health systems

· To provide for the regulation of health care service and health care service providers

· To regulate health products and health technologies

· To protect, respect, promote and fulfil the health rights of the Kenyan people

· To protect, respect, promote and fulfil the rights of children to basic nutrition and health care service in accordance with the constitution of Kenya

· To protect, respect, promote and fulfil the rights of vulnerable groups as regards health. Vulnerable groups include; women, the elderly, persons with disability, children, youth, minority or marginalized communities and members of particular ethnic, religious, or cultural communities.


· By developing policies and laws aimed at improving and maintaining the health standards

· Investing and promoting medical research and technology

· Ensuring the realization of health rights of vulnerable groups

· By providing health services

· Investing in medical research to promote technology and innovation in health care delivery


· The right to reproductive health which includes the following;

o The right to be informed about recommended family planning services

o The right to access proper medical care during and after pregnancy

o Access to treatment by a trained medical officer, nurse, midwife or clinical officer

· The right to be treated incase of a medical emergency

· The right to refuse recommended medical treatment options upon being informed of the risks and legal consequences of such refusal

· The right to give consent before medical treatment. It is significant to note that such this right is taken away in certain circumstances;

o Where the patient is incapable of giving his/her consent

o Where consent is required by law or a court order

o Where the consent is granted by a next of kin in cases where the patient is incapable

o Where failure to treat the patient would result in a serious risk to public health

o Where the patient faces a risk to life or permanent damage if not treated

o Where the patient is in an emergency situation

· The right to have his/her medical information and records kept confidential

· The right to file a complaint if aggrieved by the health facility

· The right to be informed of the progress of the complaint within 3 months from the date of filing



· The right not to be discriminated against

· The right to a safe working environment

· The right to refuse to treat an abusive patient. Such a patient could be verbally or physically abusive or one who sexually harasses the health care provider

· The right to apply for a job in the public service or the private sector


· To provide healthcare to the best of their knowledge

· To provide emergency medical treatment

· To inform a patient of his/her health status in a language that he/she understands


· To follow the rules of the health facility in the course of treatment

· To follow the medical advice given and treatment

· To honestly disclose his health status to the health care provider

· To respect the health care provider and other health workers

· to sign a discharge certificate upon request where he/she refuses medical treatment


· To work together with the county governments to develop health policies, laws and administration procedures

· To ensure the realization of the right to health in accordance with the Constitution of Kenya 2010

· To work together with the government and other interested parties in formulating policies and standards for human food consumption, nutritional services and healthy lifestyle

· To offer technical support to strengthen the health system

· To develop policies that would ensure equitable access to health services in the whole country

· To develop affirmative action measures for health workers in marginalized areas

· To provide a medical audit of deaths especially those caused by childbirth and the death of newborns

· Implement policies aimed at reducing diseases

· Develop standards of training and institutions providing education to meet the needs of service delivery

· Set guidelines for the designation of referral health facilities

· To ensure compliance with professional standards which include the registration and licensing of individuals in the health sector

· To coordinate the development of standards for quality service delivery

· To provide for approval of health services

· To coordinate relations mechanisms on all health aspects of disaster and emergencies

· To mobilize financial resources to ensure continuous access to quality health services in the country

· To promote the development of public and private health institutions

· To develop and expand a national health information management system

· To facilitate medical research

· To develop and manage the national and specialized health referral facilities

· To promote the use of appropriate medical technology

· To provide rules and regulations for disposal of hospital waste and conduct of the environmental health impact assessment

· To cooperate with other health authorities worldwide

· To establish an emergency medical treatment fund

· To regulate mechanisms for the provision of emergency healthcare.


· To advise the government on health matters

· To promote the public

· To advice both the national and county governments on matters concerning national security on public health

· To promote medical research for prevention and treatment of human diseases

· To prepare and publish public health reports and statistical date on public healtho

· To obtain and publish periodically information on infectious diseases and other health matters and such procurable information regarding epidemic diseases in neighboring countries

· To regulate public health facilities by providing guidelines for their registration, licensing, certification and gazettement

· To provide internship programs for health workers

· To supervise the directorates within the national Ministry of health

It is significant to note that the law provides that there shall be a County Health Director. The duties of the county health director are I one way or the other similar to that of the director general for health although the county health director is limited to matters of health involving the county only.


· To implement the national health policy and standards

· To coordinate health activities in cooperation with other counties

· To regulate health providers and health facilities through accreditation and licensing

· To identify and approve county referral hospitals based on the intergovernmental health coordinating mechanism

· To develop and implement policies to guide in the recruitment of public health workers in consultation with the Salaries and Remuneration Commission

· To procure and managing health supplies;

· To maintain high environmental health standards

· To cooperate and support other governmental bodies for health

· To develop lawful additional sources of income for the provision of services

· To compensate health care facilities for debts arising out of patients who cannot pay for medical services

· To disclose the financial status within the county health services

· To inform the public the health facilities through which generalized or specialized services are available to them;

· To develop and promote public participation in the planning and management of public health facilities

· To involve the community through public participation programs in the governance of county health services


SECTION 25 read together with SCHEDULE 1






Community Health Services

· Educates and ensures the members of the community observe proper healthy behaviours;

· Provides agreed health services;

· Recognizes signs and symptoms of illness/disease requiring transfer to another hospital;

· Facilitates community diagnosis, management and referral.

Community Health Extension Worker



· Does not admit patients but provides consultation services and treats minor illnesses

· Provides rehabilitative services

· Provides preventive and promotive services


A Nurse/ A Clinical Officer


Health Care

· It provides out-patient care;

· provides limited emergency care;

· provides Maternity for normal deliveries;

· provides Laboratories, oral health and referral services;

· Provides preventive and promotive services;

· Provides In-patient observations.


Clinical Officer/Medical Officer of more than 2years managerial experience



Primary Hospital

· Offers Clinical support to the level 1, 2, & 3 health facilities

· Serves as a referral hospital

· Provides Emergency obstetric care and oral health services;

· Performs surgery on admitted patients

· Provides Client health education;

· Provides specialized laboratory tests;

· Provides Radiology service;

· Provides Proper case management of referral cases

· Provides Proper counter referral;

· Provides logistical support to the lower health facilities

· Provides for the Coordination of information flow amongst health facilities in the designated area


Registered medical practitioner with a Master's degree in a health-related field


Secondary Hospital

· Provides specialized services;

· Provides Training facilities for paramedical staff who function at the primary care level

· Serves as an internship center for all health care staff including medical officers;

· Serves as a research center, for important issues of the county

Registered medical practitioner with a Master's degree in a health-related field


Tertiary Hospital

· Provides highly specialized services

· It is a Research center

· It provides training and research services for issues of national importance.

· It is a national referral hospital


Registered medical practitioner with a Master’s degree in a health-related field and with training and experience of over 10 years in senior management.



· To develop criteria and framework for determining matters requiring inter-governmental consultation

· To develop inter-governmental agreements for joint implementation of any activities for health service delivery.

· To be a platform for both levels of government to exchange ideas on health matters

Establishing the standards;-

· To facilitate the posting of interns [medical student interns] to National Government and

County Government health facilities;

· To facilitate the transfer of healthcare professionals within counties

· To facilitate the transfer of healthcare professionals from one level of Government to another i.e. county/national Government

· The welfare and the scheme of service for health professionals;

· To facilitate the management and rotation of specialists;

· To maintain a master register for all health practitioners in the counties.


· To maintain a copy of the register containing names of all health professionals working within the national and county health facilities

· To promote and regulate inter-professional cooperation between statutory regulatory bodies;

· To coordinate joint inspections with all regulatory bodies;

· To hear and determine disputes against health workers filed by aggrieved parties

· To monitor the execution of respective mandates and functions of regulatory bodies

· To arbitrate disputes between statutory regulatory bodies

· To ensure the necessary standards for health professionals are not compromised by the regulatory bodies.


· Where the process us carried out in an authorized health facility and;

· on the written authority of the medical practitioner in charge of clinical services in that health facility or any other authorized medical practitioner and;

· under the written authority of the person from whom the tissue or organs are removed, in the prescribed medical manner.


It is significant to note that one can donate his body upon death through a will/a written document signed and witnessed/through an oral statement in the presence of two witnesses who are adults and of sound mind only for the following reasons;

Section 82

· Training of students in health sciences;

· Health research;

· Advancement of health sciences;

· Healing purposes, including the use of tissue in any living person; or

· The production of a healing, diagnostic or prophylactic substance.


· To regulate the extent of health research

· To ensure that research for health agenda and research resources focus on priority health problems;

· To develop and advise the Cabinet Secretary on the application and implementation of an integrated national policy and strategy for health research;

· To ensure that the intellectual property benefits arising from any health research conducted in the country are equally enjoyed by all involved parties;

· To ensure resource budget allocation for the National Research Fund for the established research for health priorities;

· To mirror research findings in policies and legislation

· To set up a national research database; and

· To enhance capacity building and strengthening in the research for health activities.


It may only be conducted;

· if it is in the best interest of the child; or

· in such manner and on such conditions as may be prescribed; and

· with the informed written consent of the parent or guardian of the child.






Failure to provide emergency medical treatment

Fine below 3,000,000/=

80(4)(a) & (b)

Charging a fee for a human organ

Fine below 10,000,000/= or jail term for a period below 10 years or both

80(4)(a) & (b)

Unlawful human organ transplantation

Fine below 10,000,000/= or jail term for a period below 10 years or both




Failure to observe policy guidelines on an integrated comprehensive information system by a health care provider

6 months imprisonment or a fine of 500,000/= or both


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