A recent ruling in the Kenyan High Court has allowed the new Kenyan healthcare reforms to start the implementation process. As of next month, Kenyans will need to begin their contributions to the Social Health Insurance Fund. How will these new reforms change the landscape of healthcare and help ensure more Kenyans are able to get high-quality healthcare?
The Social Health Insurance Fund (SHIF) is a new program for Kenyan healthcare. The SHIF is going to be replacing the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF). Eligible workers are required to contribute 2.75% of their income to the health fund, and President Ruto has stated that the Kenyan government will cover the costs for those who are not able to contribute. While the 2.75% mandatory contribution is an increase over what many workers paid for the NHIF, health professionals hope that the expansion of care will offset that increased cost.
The President and the healthcare professionals he worked with wanted to lower the cost of treatment for many of the most common conditions in Kenya. For example, the NHIF still forced Kenyans to pay high costs for diabetes and hypertension treatment. By lowering costs through the SHIF, Kenyan healthcare will be more equitable and be able to help prevent disease, not just treat it. The overarching goal of the program is to prioritize equitable access to comprehensive, affordable healthcare.
Yes, the Kenyan government is also introducing other programs as part of its healthcare reform goals. These include the Digital Health Act, the Primary Health Care Act, and the Facility Improvement Financing Act:
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