Health Cabinet Secretary(CS) Susan Nakhumicha on Wednesday, April 12, revealed plans by the government to allocate Ksh50 billion to the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) to enable Kenyans to access more services.
Appearing before the Parliamentary Health Committee, the CS noted that plans were underway to transform NHIF from being curative-based to being preventive-based.
She explained that with the funding, Kenyans registered under NHIF will be able to access coverage for all illnesses including mental health services.
Further, they will also have access to community health workers assigned to their households who will handle all health challenges.
“When we unpack our Universal Health Cover (UHC) we shall be unpacking a whole package and telling Kenyans what the whole package will be taking care of, what they are entitled to, and the financing that is going into it.
“We are also looking into the issue of health workers which we discussed extensively earlier and health commodity security,” she stated.
Nakhumicha detailed that the government would soon unveil 10 new mental health facilities and train 90,000 community health volunteers.
“National referral facilities like Mathare National Teaching and Referral Hospital and the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital are restructuring to include mental health infrastructure to facilitate better hospitalised services.
“This will go a long way in supporting the counties to train their healthcare workers, develop county mental health services and facilitate proper referral to specialised care,” the CS stated.
She explained that each community health volunteer will be assigned to 100 households and tasked to get details of the health history and challenges faced by the family.
The information will then be channelled to the ministry to enable it to better understand and address health challenges in the country.
“These 90,000 community healthcare workers, we expect that each of the would be able to take care of 100 households.
“Once they go to list the members of these households, they have to list the characteristics of these households to get to know what are the health challenges faced in those families,” Nakhumicha added.
Earlier in January 2023, President William Ruto through a budget statement, announced that the government would change the payment plan for NHIF to encourage more households to enrol in the scheme- essentially phasing out the individual-centric model.
"The Government will thus change the contribution structure from an individual contributory scheme to a household contribution model," the 2023 Draft Budget Policy Statement read in part.