Ministry of Health on Healthcare Reforms in Kenya

Ministry of Health on Healthcare Reforms in Kenya

Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Mary Muthoni has provided a detailed explanation of the healthcare reforms made by the government of Kenya. This includes the introduction of the Social Health Insurance Fund (SHIF), new acts of law, and digitization of the healthcare system.

Healthcare Reforms in Kenya Explained by Ministry of Health

The government of Kenya has introduced three funds in the Social Health Insurance Act that will take care of all Kenyans.  They include the primary care fund, SHIF, and Chronic Illness Fund.

  • Primary Care Fund

The Primary Care Fund will cater to the lowest level of health facilities, ensuring that at levels two and three hospitals, there is no payment required. The money collected (2.75% deduction from salaried Kenyans) will be reinvested in these health facilities and contribute to healthcare infrastructure.

  • Social Health Insurance Fund (SHIF)

The Social Health Insurance Fund was previously known as NHIF. Instead of the previous 500 shilling payment, contributors will now pay 300 shillings. Higher earners will contribute 2.75% of their earnings. For the indigent in society, unable to pay, the government will step in based on a means assessment to identify those genuinely unable to cover themselves.

  • Chronic Illness Fund

The Chronic Illness Fund addresses long-term illness issues such as cancer. When SHIF funds are depleted, contributors can tap into the Chronic Illness Fund, preventing situations where those affected have to fundraise for treatment.

The Social Health Insurance Act covers screenings for various illnesses like cervical and breast cancer. This act is interconnected with other acts, such as the Digital Health Act.

  • Digital Health Act

The Digital Health Act facilitates information sharing between health facilities. If you have been referred from one hospital to another, the staff will be in a position to know your treatment history without the need to provide any hard copy documents. 

  • Facility Improvement Fund

The Facility Improvement Fund ensures that funds allocated for health remain dedicated to healthcare purposes, preventing reallocation for other functions like roads. This ensures that funds designated for healthcare are utilized for infrastructure development, human resources employment, and equipment acquisition in the healthcare ecosystem.

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