The National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) is set to be repealed.
This was revealed Tuesday during a cabinet meeting chaired by President William Ruto at Kakamega State Lodge.
The public health insurer which is the primary implementer of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) will now be replaced by three funds that will be established namely; Primary Healthcare Fund; Social Health Insurance Fund; and Emergency, Chronic and Critical Illness Fund.
The move follows the approval of four crucial bills aimed at accelerating the attainment of affordable and quality universal health coverage.
The bills considered and approved crucial Bills that promote healthcare, for transmission to Parliament, are; The Primary Health Care Bill, 2023; The Digital Health Bill, 2023; The Facility Improvement Financing Bill, 2023; and The Social Health Insurance Bill, 2023.
“In honour of the Administration’s pledge to accelerate Kenya’s attainment of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) as set out within the Administration’s plan for a healthier nation espoused under the Bottom Up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA)” explained the cabinet dispatch.
“The bills will usher in a paradigm in the legal and institutional framework for healthcare in Kenya by repealing the current National Health Insurance Fund and establishing in its place the following funds: Primary Healthcare Fund; Social Health Insurance Fund; and Emergency, Chronic and Critical Illness Fund” the memo adds.
According to the Cabinet, the Digital Health Bill addresses the existing legal and regulatory gaps in the framework for the e-Health ecosystem and its data lifecycle; enabling the development of standards towards the provision of m-health, telemedicine, and e-learning in healthcare.
“This new architecture is expected to provide a framework for improved health outcomes and financial protection of families in fidelity to the State’s solemn duty to guarantee the health and welfare of all her citizens,” said the Cabinet.
The President has been keen on reforming the health sector and in particular NHIF to bring enhanced benefits to contributors.
Regrettably, the fund has faced various challenges, including corruption and mismanagement of contributions.