State sets aside Sh1 billion to clear NHIF pending bills

Health CS Susan Nakhumicha addressing the media at Afya House on March 18, 2024 after meeting KMPDU officials over the standoff of UHC and Intern posting. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha, has announced that the government will disburse Sh1 billion to the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) to clear pending bills.

Nakhumicha also assured Kenyans of a smooth transition from NHIF to the Social Health Insurance Fund (SHIF).

“Our goal is to ensure that all Kenyans are enrolled in the Social Health Authority," she said, underlining the government's commitment to deliver Universal Health Coverage.

The CS was speaking during routine inspection of health facilities in Nairobi.

This comes after private hospitals stopped offering services to NHIF card holders over unpaid arrears.

Through the Rural Private Hospitals Association (Rupha) umbrella body, the hospitals are demanding Sh29 billion.

Patients who depend on the NHIF are now being asked to pay cash.

These concerns emerged during the CS's tour of some referral hospitals where some patients raised the matter.

“No interruption shall be noticed during the transition,” said Nakhumicha.

She further said President William Ruto will soon launch the new medical insurance scheme.

Nakhumicha said registration dates for SHIF will be communicated to the public.

The CS commended referral hospitals for efficiency in service delivery and dedication of healthcare workers.

Nakhumicha's impromptu visit came after doctors paralysed services in public hospitals to demand posting of intern doctors.

The doctors are also demanding the implementation of the 2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement.

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