The government has revealed plans to convert the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) from an occupational scheme model to a social insurance scheme.
According to the 2023 Draft Budget Policy Statement, the state held that the scheme would now focus on households as opposed to salaried workers on a payroll system.
The move will thus affect those in the public and private sectors.
In the proposal, the government affirmed that the move would be more inclusive and encourage more households to enroll in the scheme- essentially phasing out the individual-centric model. As it stands, 12 million Kenyans are currently in the Fund.
The challenge, however, is that the NHIF is an occupational scheme for salaried people on the payroll in the public and private sectors and not the social insurance scheme it ought to be.
"The Government will thus change the contribution structure from an individual contributory scheme to a household contribution model," part of the statement read in part.
Part of the health reforms to achieve Universal Health Care will also be revitalisation of the primary healthcare level by instituting more preventive and promotive strategies.
This according to the draft budget policy, will address critical health illnesses such as cancer, heart complications, kidney failures and hypertension.
Other measures include the expansion of existing health infrastructure, leveraging information technology to ensure seamless transactions between providers and working with County Governments to build a centralised system.
In relation to the use of technology in the healthcare system, the government plans to deploy an integrated state-of-the-art health information system that would enable every Kenyan to own and control access to their health records.
President William Ruto has been reiterating his stance on achieving UHC across the country during his tenure.
On December 23, 2022, Ruto appointed former Transport CS Michael Kamau to take over as the Fund's helm as its chairperson, as well as six other heads of the Board in a bid to reconstitute NHIF operations.