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FKE faults Cabinet for approving health bills without consultation

FKE Executive Director Jacqueline Mugo

The Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) is questioning Cabinet’s approval of bills to realize the Universal Health Coverage agenda without seeking views from employers before relaying them to Parliament.

The employers’ federation has called for caution to avert what it terms as increased business costs, high cost of living, and unrest in the labour sector.

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FKE Executive Director Jacqueline Mugo said the federation supports the UHC coverage agenda but pointed out that employers would have wanted a situation where the Ministry of Health and the office of the President engaged them on the substance of the proposed bills.

Mugo added that employers would then have given their feedback and had it considered before the bills were tabled in Parliament.

The federation is now calling for the involvement of employers in the governance structures of the proposed funds as regards buy-in into the wider UHC goals.

They also want the government to engage in meaningful social dialogue with the stakeholders to gain support and ownership of the reforms.

This week Cabinet has proposed the scrapping of the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) if four bills tabled in parliament are approved.

Once passed and signed into law by President William Ruto,  the national insurer will be replaced by three funds namely; Primary Healthcare Fund, Social Health Insurance and Emergency Fund and the Chronic and Critical Illness Fund.

Salaries workers will however be expected to pay as the draft Social Health Insurance Bill, 2023, proposes deductions of up to of 2.75 per cent of gross pay from each employee, monies to be channeled towards the new Social Health Insurance Fund (SHIF).

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