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High Court suspends implementation of Ruto's key health law

Justice Chacha Mwita granted a conservatory order, restraining the respondents from implementing and enforcing acts

President William Ruto chairs Cabinet meeting at Kisumu State Lodge on October 9, 2023

The High Court on Monday issued orders to suspend the implementation of three recently assented laws until February 7, 2024.

The affected Acts are The Social Health Insurance Act, Primary Health Care Act, and the Digital Health Act.

The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists & Dentists Union (KMPDU) sought the suspension, citing adverse effects on the broader health sector.

Justice Chacha Mwita granted a conservatory order, restraining the respondents from implementing and enforcing the mentioned acts until the specified date.

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The court directed the Ministry of Health to respond to the petition within seven days. Following that, they have an additional seven days for filing and serving supplementary affidavits.

Subsequently, the Ministry has another seven days to file and serve written submissions to the petition, limited to 10 pages.

President William Ruto had recently assented to these Acts just before this year's Mashujaa Day celebrations, aiming to achieve Universal Health Coverage as part of his legacy plan.

The Social Health Insurance Act divided the National Health Insurance Fund into three funds: the Primary Health Care Fund, the Social Health Insurance Fund, and the Chronic Illness and Emergency Fund.

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The Primary Healthcare Fund was designed for services from level 1 to 3 facilities, while the Social Health Insurance Fund covered level 4 to 6 health facilities.

The Emergency, Chronic, and Critical Illness Fund would be utilized once the Social Health Insurance Act is depleted.

Universal Health Coverage was the government's theme for this year's Mashujaa Day celebrations, with President Ruto laying foundations for realizing his health vision.

However, KMPDU expressed concerns, labeling Ruto's new healthcare acts as a threat to healthcare access for over 3 million Kenyans with payslips.

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