The New Laws Reforming Kenyan Healthcare

Kenyan healthcare

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?

What is the Social Health Insurance Fund?

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.

Why Was the SHIF Created?

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.

Are There Other Programs Being Introduced?

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:

  • Digital Health Act: This act will help to establish formal guidelines for data security, privacy, and data use in the healthcare space. It will also establish a Digital Health Agency to help unify access to information across healthcare providers.
  • Primary Health Care Act: The Primary Health Care Act is going to increase the emphasis on primary healthcare. Research has shown that primary healthcare is a critical way to prevent and treat disease, and this investment should help many Kenyans.
  • Facility Improvement Financing Act: This piece of legislation is going to help many different healthcare facilities, as it will directly allocate funds to them to help improve the facilities and operations.

We’re Dedicated to Helping Create a Healthier Kenya

At the Sollay Kenyan Foundation, we believe that every Kenyan’s life matters. Your life matters, and you matter! Sollay Kenyan Foundation is a non-profit that cares about working with communities throughout Kenya to help children, families, and communities receive equal access to the primary care and focused specialty care that they need to thrive. With your support and the support of our existing donors and volunteers, we hope to help the people of Kenya realize their full potential and thrive. To make a donation and learn more, click here.

Sources:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/37926107/

https://www.wtwco.com/en-gb/insights/2023/11/kenya-ambitious-state-healthcare-reform-raises-contributions-for-most-employees

https://www.ey.com/en_gl/tax-alerts/kenya-s-enactment-of-new-laws-moves-towards-universal-health-cov

https://ntvkenya.co.ke/news/shif-explained-the-new-social-health-insurance-fund-is-divided-into-3-categories/

https://www.africanews.com/2024/01/19/kenya-court-lifts-orders-barring-rutos-social-health-insurance-fund//

https://www.ey.com/en_gl/tax-alerts/kenya-s-enactment-of-new-laws-moves-towards-universal-health-cov