The National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) has guaranteed the security of Kenyans’ contributions as it readies for the shift to the upcoming Social Health Authority.
The 57-year-old NHIF is slated for dissolution, making way for the Social Health Authority, as outlined in the Social Health Insurance Bill of 2023.
The Social Health Authority (SHA) will oversee the administration of three separate funds: the Primary Health Care Fund, the Social Health Insurance Fund, and the Chronic Illness and Emergency Fund.
According to the bill, the Primary Health Care Fund is earmarked to bolster preventive and promotive primary care services at the community, dispensary, and health center levels.
The Social Health Insurance Fund will cover various services, including direct referrals, as well as secondary and tertiary healthcare. On the other hand, the Chronic Illness and Emergency Fund is crafted to address persistent conditions like diabetes, hypertension, cancer management, and emergency treatments.
Elijah Wachira, the Chief Executive Officer of NHIF, informed the National Assembly’s Public Investments Committee on Social Services, Administration, and Agriculture that the organization is currently in the process of documenting its properties, liabilities, and assets. This comprehensive record will be subsequently transferred to the upcoming authority.
“Many of our dedicated colleagues are working tirelessly, often exceeding 15 hours a day, to ensure we meet our reporting deadlines and other expectations before the upcoming transition,” said Wachira.
“Our commitment to Parliament and the entire nation is unwavering; we will take every possible measure to safeguard the contributions of our members and their beneficiaries.”
Despite potential initial challenges, Wachira emphasized that NHIF’s staff is adequately prepared and capable of tackling issues that have previously impacted the national insurer. They are also poised to work towards expanding health insurance coverage.
“We are undertaking this transition while simultaneously learning from our past experiences, ensuring a seamless shift from the current NHIF to the new authority.”