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Parliament to consider Bills meant to actualize universal health coverage agenda

Nairobi, Kenya: Parliament House with its clock tower and the coat of arms of Kenya - architect Amyas Douglas Connell - photo by M.Torres

The National Assembly has resolved to reduce the publication period of the Digital Health Bill from fourteen to six days.

The Digital Health Bill 2023, which is part of four bills before the national assembly and the senate meant to actualize the universal health coverage agenda, seeks to establish and maintain a comprehensive integrated health information system that can be a reference to every health facility that requires the patients’ health history.

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The Bill, which was read for the first time on Thursday, proposes the establishment of a digital health agency that would provide a framework for provision of digital health services; to establish a comprehensive integrated digital health information system, data governance and protection of personal health information, service delivery through digital health interventions, e-waste disposal, health tourism, and for connected purposes.

The publication period of the Social Health Insurance Bill 2023 was also reduced from fourteen to three days.𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐁𝐢𝐥𝐥 seeks to enhance the pooling of resources based on equity to guarantee access to health care services for all. It proposes the establishment of a framework for the management of social health insurance; to provide for the establishment of The Social Health Authority; to give effect to Article 43(1)(a) of the Constitution.

The Principal object of the Bill is to put in place a legislative framework to regulate the provision of social health insurance, promote the implementation of the Universal Health Coverage and to ensure that all Kenyans have access to affordable and comprehensive quality health services.

The other two bills including the Primary Health Care Bill, 2023, which aims to promote and fulfill the rights of all citizens to attain the highest standards of health care by establishing Primary Healthcare Networks, and the Facilities Improvement Financing Bill, 2023, which seeks to provide for an efficient, secure and accountable mechanism for the collection, retention and management of revenue in public health facilities, are before the senate.



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