High cost of medicine and related equipment is a major hindrance to achievement of universal healthcare, experts have warned.

Mission for Essential Drugs and Supplies (MEDS) Managing Director Jane Masiga said while there is need to adopt the latest technology in treating patients, most healthcare providers have shunned the equipment due to high costs.

“Taxing simple products such as gloves makes healthcare expensive. The government can assist in lowering costs of access by relooking at the tax regime on non-pharmaceutical products,” Dr Masiga said last week. She added that there is need for more funding by the government to ensure public hospitals purchase the latest equipment.

Dr Masiga spoke when MEDS, a supplier of medicine and related products unveiled a new range of high-tech equipment for local hospitals.

The kits include baby resuscitatives, dental units, LED theatre operating lights, haematology analysers, anesthesia machines and patient monitors.

The call comes amid increased costs for Kenyans seeking treatment for cancer variants such as cervical, breast, esophageal and prostate cancer.