Govt Orders Over 1,800 NHIF Members to Reapply for SHA Roles

Social Health Authority CEO Timothy Olweny
Social Health Authority Chairperson Timothy Olweny
Spice FM

The Social Health Authority (SHA) Chairperson Timothy Olweny on Wednesday, June 12, revealed that the Authority was yet to employ staff. 

As such, he revealed that all National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) members were supposed to apply afresh for their jobs before November 2024. 

He stated there was no guarantee that the over 1,800 staff members would be wholly absorbed into SHA, which is the Authority replacing NHIF. 

“We have staff who are the previous NHIF staff at the moment. However, everybody will have to apply for their jobs and we will recruit afresh,” Olweny stated during an interview with Spice FM. 

NHIF building in Nairobi.

Come November for example, which is what law puts as sunset for NHIF by that time we anticipate we will have recruited our new employees.”

The Chairman remarked that before the end of the recruitment exercise, current NHIF staff will be working under SHA on temporary contractual terms. 

Explaining why the Authority had not recruited new employees, keeping in mind that SHA will become operational by July 1, he stated that the Authority had been engaged first in making SHA legal. 

He cited the drafting of the bill and subsequent parliamentary process as having taken much of the time of SHA board members. 

Despite the recruitment hurdle, Olweny stated it was within the law for the Authority to utilise outgoing NHIF staff. 

“By operation of law, everything from NHIF is owned by SHA from November 2 whether it is assets or liabilities,” he explained. 

Initially, while fronting the SHA Bill in parliament, the National Assembly Majority Leader stated that NHIF staff would be given a one-year grace period to reapply for their jobs. 

Ichung’wah had though warned that only the hard-working staff with no graft cases would be reabsorbed. The Kikuyu MP had termed the move as a way to ensure that SHA gets only the best employees from NHIF.

Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung'wah in a meeting on April 3, 2024
Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung'wah in a meeting on April 3, 2024
Kimani Ichung'wah