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National Hospital Insurance Fund sets new health standards

By James Anyanzwa | June 27th 2013

By James Anyanzwa

Kenya: National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF), World Bank Group’s Health in Africa Initiative (HiA) and PharmAcess Foundation have entered into a partnership to introduce internationally recognised healthcare standards to the NHIF insurance programme.

The proposed health standards are expected to improve the clinical quality of health facilities accredited by NHIF.

The fund’s chief executive, Mr Simeon ole Kirgotty, said the certification system will lead to accreditation based on SafeCare standards.

He added that this would create a transparent evaluation system that would motivate clinics and hospitals to constantly improve the quality of their services and give patients information about the quality of care they can expect to receive.

“Overall it will result in improved access to quality health services in Kenya,” he said, speaking during the launch of the partnership in Nairobi on Tuesday.

NHIF plays a key role in health financing, covering approximately six million Kenyans, including 500,000 informal sector workers.

“Improvement in the quality of health services is constrained by inexistence of enforceable standards, jeopardising patient health safety,” said Dr Khama Rogo, head of HiA.

SafeCare measures recognise relative improvement rather than applying a pass-or-fail system. It also allows for data-driven resource allocation, which enables a more efficient use of available money for healthcare delivery.

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