Kenyans will soon contribute to a revamped healthcare financing system as the government prepares to launch the Social Health Insurance Fund (SHIF).

Announced by Health Cabinet Secretary (CS) Susan Nakhumicha, the program aims to replace the existing National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF).

Registration Opens Next Month, Contributions Start in July:

Registration for SHIF will kick off in March and conclude by June.

Kenyans will begin contributing to the fund at a rate of 2.75 per cent of their gross salary, with a minimum monthly payment of Sh300, starting in July.

"Our aim as a ministry is to commence registration from the first week of March from our regulations," explained CS Nakhumicha.

"This will go on up to June and thereafter, we intend to begin payment contributions at a rate of 2.75 per cent with a minimum payment of Sh300."

Benefits Expected in 2024-25 Financial Year:

The health ministry anticipates Kenyans enrolled in SHIF to start enjoying its benefits in the 2024-25 financial year.

"Our hope is that access to these benefits will start in the month of July," stated CS Nakhumicha.

Public Consultation and Transparency:

Prior to full implementation, the health ministry has conducted nationwide workshops to gather public and stakeholder feedback on the new social health insurance regulations.

"All stakeholders involved have been consulted and thus the document will be presented to the Attorney General for gazettement will be inclusive," confirmed CS Nakhumicha.

Addressing Corruption Concerns and County Government Collaboration:

SHIF is also expected to combat past issues of corruption witnessed during NHIF claim payments.

CS Nakhumicha emphasized the ministry's commitment to collaborating with county governments in the implementation process.

Concerns from the Council of Governors:

However, the Council of Governors has expressed reservations about the rushed rollout of SHIF, claiming they were not adequately consulted until voicing their concerns.

They raised the issue of ensuring claim reimbursement for public hospitals, as a majority of beneficiaries under the previous system were enrolled in private healthcare facilities.

The introduction of SHIF marks a significant development in Kenya's healthcare landscape. While questions and concerns remain, the launch promises a more inclusive and potentially more efficient system for financing healthcare needs across the nation.