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Transition committee set up to oversee shift from NHIF to SHA


 Health CS Susan Nakhumicha. [Bonifaçe Okendo, Standard]

The Ministry of Health has gazetted a transition committee to oversee changes in the health scheme.

The Transition Committee on the Social Health Authority is mandated to ensure a seamless transition from the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) to the Social Health Authority (SHA).

Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha appointed the ten-member committee through a gazette notice dated January 25.

The transition committee is chaired by Jason Kap-Kirwok.

Members of the committee include Dr Daniel Mwai (presidential health advisor and health economist), Dr Kipruto Chermusoi Chesang, Dr Jacinta Wasike, Gladys Wambui Mburu, Stephen Kaboro Mbugua and Dr Elizabeth Wangia.

Other members are Christopher Leparan Tialal, Dr Jacob Otachi Orina and Dr Stanley Bii.

The committee is mandated to develop a legal and institutional framework for the coordinated transition to SHA.

Amid anxiety among Kenyans regarding changes in the health scheme, the committee will ensure there is continuous service delivery, and develop guidelines and operational mechanisms during the transition period for audit.

Verification and transfer to SHA includes assets and liabilities, human resources, pensions and other staff benefits of employees of NHIF.

A new fund known as the Social Health Insurance Fund (SHIF) will be in place.

The committee has established three subcommittees to oversee finance, HR, and strategy, operations and legal affairs, said the chairperson.

The chairperson said the committee is dedicated to delivering its role within the set timelines.

According to the gazette notice, the committee's term is six months. 

“The terms of the Committee shall be for a period of six months with effect from the date hereof, or for such a period as may be specified by notice in the Kenya Gazette,” read the gazette notice.

NHIF employees are anxious about their fate.

In November, during a town hall meeting with NHIF employees, the Health CS said recruitment at SHA will be done afresh.

Nakhumicha noted that NHIF employees will undergo a suitability assessment and if they qualify for SHA set structures they will transition.

The employees also have an option of applying for early retirement or being absorbed in other public sectors.

The guidelines in the transfer of roles in the new social health scheme are in accordance with the transitional provisions of the Social Health Insurance Act, 2023.

Additionally, the Gazette notice notes that the committee will further develop a roadmap for winding up of NHIF.

The transition committee shall have the power to regulate its procedures and hold meetings as it shall deem necessary.

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