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KENYA: Cabinet approves 3 new funds to replace NHIF

KAKAMEGA, Kenya, Aug 30 – Cabinet has approved the establishment of three funds that will replace the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF).

A cabinet dispatch says the meeting chaired by President William Ruto okayed the Primary Healthcare Fund, Social Health Insurance Fund, and Emergency, Chronic and Critical Illness Fund.

The move follows the approval of four crucial bills aimed at accelerating the attainment of affordable and quality universal health coverage.

The bills considered and approved crucial Bills that promote healthcare, for transmission to Parliament, are; The Primary Health Care Bill, 2023; The Digital Health Bill, 2023; The Facility Improvement Financing Bill, 2023; and The Social Health Insurance Bill, 2023.

According to the Cabinet, the new architecture is expected to provide a framework for improved health outcomes and financial protection of families in fidelity to the State’s solemn duty to guarantee the health and welfare of all her citizens.

President William Ruto has appealed to legislators to approve the programme in parliament.

The President described it as a well thought out plan aimed at guaranteeing universal access to quality healthcare.

He said the programme will include community health promoters, social insurance, health digital systems among others.

“We are reforming the country’s healthcare system to ensure healthcare is not the privilege of the few who can afford it but the right of every Kenyan,” he said.

President Ruto said the Government has changed the National Health Insurance Fund payments model to ensure Kenyans pay according to their income.

He said the Government will equip community health promoters to boost the country’s preventive health services.

The President made the remarks In Emuhaya, Vihiga County, where he opened the Emuhaya sub county hospital general ward that has a bed capacity of 90 complete with medical and surgery units.

He also opened the Vihiga county referral hospital CT scan centre in Mbale.

Present were Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi, National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetangula, Cabinet Secretaries Ezekiel Machogu (Education), Ababu Namwamba (Sports), Susan Nakhumicha (Health), Kipchumba Murkomen (Transport),  Vihiga Governor Wilber Otichilo, and MPs

The President said the Government has set aside Shs4 billion to ensure farmers have guaranteed minimum returns while at the same time protecting the consumers.

He said the Government has also provided funds to promote 30,000 teachers and  increased their salary to boost the education sector.

Earlier, he inspected the construction of Ebunangwe Kenya School of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) that will address the shortage of trainers in TVET in the country.

“Our goal is to ensure that we have adequate instructors in our TVET to train our youth,” he said.

He also launched the Vihiga County Affordable Housing Programme that seeks to generate over 10,000 jobs for the youth.

“We also want to reduce land fragmentation that is reducing acreage of land under agriculture,” he added.

In Gisambai, he launched the upgrading to bitumen standard and maintenance of Gisambai-Hamisi-Senende Roads.

The President said the government will build five new markets in Vihiga County to ensure traders work in a conducive environment.

President Ruto asked leaders to set aside political differences and serve the people, saying the time for competitive politics ended in the last general elections.

He said he will work with leaders from across the political divide to transform the country.

“We have all agreed that we are going to transform Kenya through development programmes,” he said.

Mr Mudavadi expressed confidence in the Government’s transformation programmes aimed at lifting Kenyans out of poverty.

“We are in Western Kenya for 5 days to launch and inspect development projects that will benefit the people,” he said.

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Mr Otichillo said the County Government of Vihiga is working closely with the government for the benefit of the people.

“We are in this Government, we do not have another government,” he said.

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