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The four UHC laws signed into effect by Ruto

  President William Ruto. [PCS]

President William Ruto on Thursday assented to four health bills that will support his revamped Universal Health Coverage plan.

Ruto signed the Social Health Insurance Act, Digital Health Act, Primary Healthcare Act, and the Facility Improvement Financing Act into law at Nairobi’s State House after the National Assembly passed the bills on Tuesday without amendments.

Speaking after the signing, the president praised stakeholders in the health sector for fine-tuning the bills before passage at both the Senate and National Assembly.

"We have to remember that this initiative failed during former President Mwai Kibaki’s rule but today, we have managed to achieve that. I have to congratulate both Houses. Through them, their sacrifice and commitment has been displayed and it is for the betterment of Kenyans at large," the president said.

At the same time, the Head of State stated that going forward, Kenyans will now only have to identify themselves, and doctors can pull out their medical records and be able to assist them.

"This was one of our undertakings, under the laws we have passed. Even those who didn't have cash to pay for health care will now be able to get health coverage. No Kenyan should be denied emergency medical health care," Ruto added.

On his part, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua heaped praises on lawmakers for passing the bills without amendments, adding that they will benefit the citizenry.

“A healthy nation breeds a prosperous nation. The impact will be felt on the ground, especially on preventive medicine as compared to curative medicine. It is a win for local mwananchi," said Rigathi.

Ruto is expected to officially launch the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) plan in Kericho tomorrow during the Mashujaa Day celebrations.

The new laws aim at transforming health coverage in the country in line with the Kenya Kwanza pledges.

The Primary Healthcare Law aims to strengthen preventive health services by co-opting the 100,000 community health promoters while the Digital Health Law aims at promoting telemedicine and digitization of health services, hence doing away with the present written transactions.

On the other hand, the Facility Improvement Financing Law aims at restricting funds raised in public health facilities while the Social Health Insurance Law aims at abolishing the National Health Insurance Fund while creating three new funds: A Primary Health Care Fund, a Social Health Insurance Fund and a Chronic Illness and Emergency Fund.

The bills have already gone through the Senate and the National Assembly.

Present during the event were Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha, the leader of the Majority in Parliament Kimani Ichung'wah, and the Majority Whip Bonny Khalwale, development partners among them, World Health Organization officials.

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