New Health Insurance Fund Has More Benefits, Says Health CS

The new Social Health Insurance Fund (SHIF) will offer more benefits to the vulnerable people in Kenya once implemented, Health Cabinet Secretary (CS) Susan Nakhumicha has said. Nakhumicha said the laws contained in the running of the fund will provide money readily for screening, dialysis, transplants of kidney, and drugs besides ensuring the provision of equipment and recruitment of health workers to offer services at the health facility. Consequently, the CS noted that the insurance will offer solutions that the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) could not provide to wananchi when they most needed. 'Initially with NHIF cards, a patient was asked to pay additional funds and accident victims would not be attended to by doctors because they did not have money,' said Nakhumicha at the Mother and Child section at Makueni County Referral Hospital during a public participation forum on Monday. 'I have brought a solution, the laws I am bringing will cater for screening, kidney transplant, provide drugs, h ave workers to offer services in hospitals, and equip the health facilities,' observed the CS. The new laws include the Primary Insurance Act which stipulates patients do not pay anything, the Social Health Insurance Fund the salaried will pay 2.75%, and the Emergence Critical and Chronic Illness Fund which will especially cater to cancer, diabetes, and hypertension among others. The other law is the use of digital systems to ensure there is a transplant in the use of funds, hence curbing the use of other people's data without their knowledge. 'When you are registered, you know the amount of money in the card and also you can deduct when some people try to use your data illegally as you will get a message in your phone,' Nakhumicha quipped. During the forum, she cautioned political leaders against issuing threats of going to court and instead challenged them to offer solutions to ensure many Kenyans from poor families have access to affordable health services in the Country. 'Before you go to court, tell me how to solve this problem to help vulnerable people access health services in the Country,' she added. Through the new insurance, 3 million salaried Kenyans will be deducted 2.75% to contribute to the SHIF to ensure all Kenyans get affordable health services in a nearby health facility that is well equipped. Nakhumicha also disclosed that the new insurance will cater to people with disabilities. Speaking at the event, Makueni County Governor Mutula Kilonzo Jnr said it was high time we had as a Country the need to solve the high cost of treating cancer, diabetes, hypertension, and cancer and kidney illness. 'We need to have a conversation about how people suffering from chronic illnesses like diabetes, cancer, and hypertension can get commodities like drugs and reduce the high cost of treatment,' said Mutula. During the forum, he supported the new health insurance saying many Kenyans will access health services in the Country saying it was the wish of all Governors. He particularly took issue with Ken yans who seek health services in hospitals being denied services saying it was unacceptable while adding that in developed Countries, the rich cater for the health of the poor in the society. 'It is unacceptable to deny somebody health services because they cannot pay. In developed Countries like Germany, the rich cater for social health care,' noted the Governor. Source: Kenya News Agency