President Uhuru Kenyatta has called all Kenyans to register for the National Health Fund (NHIF).
Uhuru said that on Monday when he launched the national scale-up of the Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
Speaking in Mombasa at Port Reitz Sub-country Hospital, Uhuru said his administration has developed the UHC policy covering the period 2020-2030.
This, he said was to guide the acceleration of the progress of attaining the UHC.
"In this regard, my administration has developed the Universal Healthcare Coverage Policy, covering the period 2020–2030, to guide the acceleration of the progress in attaining Universal Health Coverage," Uhuru said.
He said the Covid-19 pandemic presented the urgent need for the country to upscale implementation for the UHC.
Uhuru said the government seeks to eradicate poverty of dignity under the pillar of the Big Four Agenda.
“Under this pillar, we seek to eradicate the ‘poverty of dignity’ and transition our nation into an era where no Kenyan should be forced to choose between medical bills and other essential needs,” the president said.
The Head of State said UHC was launched in 2013 with the free maternity programme dubbed ‘Linda Mama’ which currently benefits over 1 million mothers yearly.
He outlined various initiatives the government has established to ensure the successful implementation of UHC. This includes investing in health infrastructure and the development of digital health platforms to support the effective monitoring of the health sector.
The president said his government has made a 43 per cent increase in terms of health infrastructure. The number of health facilities has increased from a stock of 4,429 in 2013 to 6,342 at the moment.
He also said the country’s ICU capacity has increased as well as the total bed capacity.
“In the same period, our ICU capacity has increased by an impressive 502 per cent; and our total hospital bed capacity has also increased significantly by 47 per cent,” Uhuru said.
To further realization of the UHC goal, President Kenyatta welcomed the passing into law of the NHIF Amendment Act by Parliament.
“I would not shy to say my administration has successfully set the unshakable foundation for achieving the goal of 100 per cent health insurance coverage and as a result access to affordable and quality healthcare so that never again should a Kenyan needlessly suffer or be driven to poverty because of medical bills,” he said.
Uhuru also directed NHIF to establish a centralised healthcare provider management system by the end of June to ensure efficient management and payment of claims and data collection.
The president also directed biometric registration at NHIF to be inter-linked to the Huduma Number database.
Uhuru affirmed his commitment to work for the betterment of Kenyans until his term ends.