Govt releases Ksh.6 billion for NHIF in public hospitals
The government has released Ksh.6 billion to the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) for the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) programme, Health Principal Secretary Susan Mochache said while in Kilifi County.
Mochache said that at least one million Kenyan families had already been registered for the programme since it started and that a further 220,000 would be registered this year as the state inches towards the target of four million families.
“Since the programme started, we have registered about one million poor families. This year, we are targeting to register 220,000 and because of this, the government set aside Ksh.6 billion which it has already released to the NHIF so that those registered can start getting the services,” said Mochache.
Kenyans enrolling for the NHIF programme are required to pay Ksh.500 every month to access medical services.
National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani allocated Ksh.146.8 billion to the healthcare sector in the 2022/23 fiscal year budget out of which Ksh.62.3 billion is meant to cover UHC.
“Of this amount, Ksh 47.7 billion will fund activities and programmes for the attainment of Universal Health Coverage,” Ukur Yatani in the budget statement.
The government, however, is in talks with Safaricom where the telco’s subscribers, who are also NHIF members would be allowed to contribute Ksh.17 per day through M-Pesa.
The PS said Kenya was on course to ensure that all citizens access health care, noting that the rate at which the programme was being implemented would make UHC succeed faster than other countries which have already achieved the same.
“Many countries have taken a long time to achieve UHC, but if we continue implementing the programme at this rate, we shall be able to achieve our target of 4 million Kenyan families in record time,” she said.
In last year’s budget, the health sector received Ksh.121.1 billion to balance between post-COVID-19 economic recovery and driving President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four Agenda, whose implementation was equally slowed down by the pandemic.
Inside the Ksh.146.7 billion, CS Yatani allocated Ksh 7 billion to enable the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines and related expenses to cushion the economy for the 2022/23 Covid-19 recovery