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Robert Pukose: NHIF cover to continue until end of 2024

 National Assembly Health Committee Chairperson Robert Pukose. [Boniface Okendo,Standard]

Healthcare sector is set to undergo a major transformation after the Court of Appeal lifted a ban on the Social Health Insurance Act in January 2024.

 The Act, which was announced by Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha in November 2023, aims to provide universal health coverage for all Kenyans.

However, the implementation of the new system will not be immediate, according to the National Assembly Health Committee Chairperson Robert Pukose.

Pukose, while speaking during an interview on Spice FM on Wednesday, February 7 said the current National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) will continue to operate until the end of 2024, as a transition committee works on the guidelines for the new Social Health Insurance Fund (SHIF).

“The cover for NHIF is still operational and will remain so up to the end of this year. So Kenyans will continue getting their services as they have in the past,” said Pukose.

He added that the Social Health Authority, which will oversee the SHIF, will be fully operational once the transition committee submits its report in six months.

“We have a transition committee which has been given six months to handle the matters of transition. As parliament, we are going to have subsequent meetings with them to brief us on the progress and then after the six months, they give us a report on how they have handled the matter of transition,” he added.

Under the new system, patients seeking health services in dispensaries and level one to three hospitals will not pay anything under the Primary Insurance Act.

Those seeking medical services in level four to six medical centers will be required to pay 2.75 per cent of their salaries if employed and a minimum of Sh300 for those who are self-employed depending on their income under the SHIF.

The payment made on SHIF will also provide Kenyans with the Emergency Critical and Chronic Illness services under the Emergency Critical and Chronic Illness Fund.

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