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Scrapping NHIF: What you should know about new system, costs, and benefits

State House further breaks down plans to repeal NHIF and replace it with 3 new funds

President William Ruto greeting a staff at the Kerugoya Level 5 Hospital on June 13,2023

State House has moved to further explain what the plan to repeal the National Health Insurance Fund that was approved by Cabinet on August 29.

According to State House Spokesperson Hussein Mohamed, the four bills to be transmitted to Parliament for approval are part of President William Ruto's plan to realise Universal Health Coverage (UHC) which was covered in his manifesto.

The bills poised for presentation to Parliament are as follows:

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The President’s commitment in the Kenya Kwanza manifesto was to employ & initiate payments for community health promoters & integrate preventive & promotive services.

The Primary Health Care Bill 2023 establishes a framework, for the delivery of, access to, & management of primary health care.

It establishes the framework for the 100,000 community health promoters to be commissioned by the President in October 2023 & outlines the services they will offer when they visit households.

The bill provides for the re-organization of service delivery at the Primary Health Care levels; including dispensaries & health centers, where the government shall cater for these services.

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This means Kenyans seeking services at these levels can walk in & walk out without incurring any bill.

In the manifesto, President Ruto also promised to provide social health insurance fund coverage for all Kenyans with no exclusions’

He also made a commitment to set up the Emergency Medical Treatment Fund to cater to emergencies, cancer treatment & referrals, & to set aside funds for strategic programs & retirees.

This commitment will be actualized by the Social Health Insurance Bill 2023, which establishes the authority that shall replace NHIF.

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The bill establishes 3 funds:

a) A Primary Health Care Fund to cater to preventive & promotive primary care services at the community, dispensary, and health centre levels;

b) A Social Health Insurance Fund that shall cover services such as primary referrals, secondary & tertiary services; and

c) A Chronic Illness & Emergency Fund that provides for chronic illnesses like complications of diabetes, hypertension, cancer management, & emergency treatment.

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These funds are to be managed by a single board & secretariat, based on the proposed 2.75% deductions on household income from both formal & informal sectors.

The President also promised an integrated information communication and technology system to enhance telemedicine & health management information systems.

The Digital Health Bill 2023 provides a framework for digital health services, data governance, protection of personal health information, & service delivery through digital health interventions.

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The Head of State also promised to allocate dedicated funds for healthcare.

This commitment will be realized through the Facility Improvement Financing Bill 2023, which aims to ring-fence money generated in health facilities, ensuring a predictable, regular, and steady source of funding for health facility operations in the counties.

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