Medics in the country have criticized the Social Health Bill 2023 saying it is a breach of the 2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement(CBA) on the provision of comprehensive medical cover by the employer.
In a statement issued by Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union Secretary General Davji Bhimji, the union said the bill is discriminatory to Civil Servants and Kenyans in general.
“The Social Bill is a breach of our CBA 2017 and we can assure you that we shall RESIST! The civil servants and county employees will push back any attempts to take away our benefits,” said Davji.
The Social Bill scrapped the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) Act for Civil Servants, which will see them pay more to get medical cover.
Further, the Act will see all the contributions made towards the comprehensive medical cover be rendered inexistent.
Civil servants will be required to contribute Sh8500 compared to the initial Sh3500 which was administered through NHIF.
Those from the informal sector on the other hand will be required to pay upfront their entire annual amount failure to which a two per cent fine will be admnistered.
According to Davji, that arrangement is unfair considering that the majority of Kenyans work in informal sectors and this he says will see many denied the right to healthcare.
“In Kenya, 80 per cent of our people work in the informal sector and this law is going to discriminate against them by making them contribute upfront the entire annual amount, unlike their formally employed counterparts who will contribute monthly,” read the statement.
Different unions in the country including the Kenya County Government Workers Union, the Institute of Social Accountability and the Informal Sector Workers have joined the medics in urging Kenyans to say no to the Social Insurance Bill which was signed into law on October 19 by President William Ruto.