Bill Proposing 2.75 % Gross Pay Deduction to Social Health Insurance Fund to Be Tabled Next Week
President William Ruto plans to initiate more cuts on salaried Kenyans’ pay yet again, this time round to help realise Universal Health Coverage.
The draft Social Health Insurance Bill, 2023, has proposed deductions of up to of 2.75 per cent of gross pay from each employee, monies to be channeled towards the new Social Health Insurance Fund (SHIF).
This means that the lowest earner will have Sh300 deducted from their salaries every month with no maximum contribution.
“The government shall ensure that premium financing products are provided for non-salaried persons for the payment of social health insurance,” the Bill reads in part.
The Bill which is set to be presented in Parliament once MPs resume sittings from recess will see NHIF transition to SHIF.
SHIF will be used for preventive and promotive and primary care services at community, dispensary and health centre levels and build a chronic illness and emergency fund that provides for chronic illnesses.
A Social Health Authority (SHA), Afya Bora Fund and the Chronic and Critical Illness Emergency Fund (CCIEF) are also proposed for establishment.
Cabinet has approved the Bills which include the Primary Health Care Bill, 2023, Digital Health Bill, 2023 and Facility Improvement Financing Bill, 2023.
The Facility Improvement Financing Bill among others dictates the placement of health facilities and the funding it requires.
It will be compulsory for all Kenyans to be members for them to enjoy government’s health services.
Speaking recently in Vihiga, President William Ruto announced that the government would change the funding system to allow vulnerable groups in the country to access the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF).
“We are changing the funding system so that we can allow the vulnerable to access NHIF free of charge and those who are in the lower category to pay less, those who earn more to pay more,” Ruto said.
He stated that the move would stop making healthcare in the country a privilege of a few people who can afford it and make it a right of everyone who requires medical care.
Each beneficiary, the Bill states, will be entitled to an essential healthcare benefits package to be prescribed by a health cabinet secretary in consultation with the board.
“The authority shall make payments out of the Funds to health care providers or health care facilities that are empaneled and contracted in accordance with the provisions of this Act,” it reads.
It adds, “A health care provider or healthcare facility seeking to be empaneled under the Act shall make an application to the body responsible for accreditation for quality of care in the manner prescribed by the CS.”
Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha has said the government will co-opt legislators as champions of UHC in their regions.
“We want the MPs to help us take the message out so that we can have clarity of what it is that we need to do as a government,” she said.
She echoed the President’s message that the Kenya Kwanza administration is “committed to ensuring the UHC works this time round”.
The level of service assessment which is currently being undertaken by a team of experts, the CS noted, will inform on the existing gaps on human resource, infrastructure and equipment.
“The unique thing that we are going to do after this process is that we are going to map health facilities into a primary care network and these facilities are not just public, we have private and faith-based facilities so that we should be able to direct patients to where services are available,” she said.