National Assembly Health Committee Chairman Dr. Robert Pukose has revealed that Kenyans can only use the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) up to the end of 2024.
Speaking on Spice Fm on Wednesday, February 7, Dr. Pukose said NHIF will remain operational until the full transition to the Social Health Authority (SHA).
“If you are sick today, you cover for the NHIF is still operational because as we speak today NHIF is still in office up to the end of this year.
You will still continue getting your services, we have a full board and working staff of NHIF with all its activities still operational,” he said.
He was hopeful that the budget policy statement which will be tabled next week (February 14) will capture SHA funds.
He explained that this will ensure the Funds are operationalized when the country begins the next financial year in July 2023.
The lawmaker said the government initially planned to roll out SHA in January 2024, but this was blocked by several court cases.
“If the case did not go to court, then the regulation should have been in place by January, But the government had to wait to finish with the courts and they are currently doing public participation,” he said.
Transition from NHIF to SHA
The Endebess Member of Parliament said the government has not made deductions to the SHA since there are no regulations in place.
Besides, he explained that Health CS Susan Nakhumicha has not appointed any individual to SHA.
Pukose said SHA is currently using the NHIF secretariat to operate pending the full transition.
According to the MP, the transition committee which was gazzeted by Nakhumicha will handle the transition from NHIF to SHA.
“They have a period of six months, as parliament we will have a session with them so that they can brief us on their workings. Will be expecting them to give us progressive reports and as it comes to an end then they will give a complete report on how they handled the matter,” he said.
SHA will replace NHIF under the Social Health Insurance Act 2023 regulations.
On January 25, Nakhumicha appointed a 10-member transition committee to lead the enactment of SHA after the court dismissed the petition against the Act.
SHA establishes Funds namely, Primary Health Care Fund, Social Health Insurance Fund (SHIF) and the Emergency Chronic and Critical Illness Fund.
The purpose of the Primary Healthcare Fund shall be to purchase primary healthcare services from health facilities. The capital of this fund will include appropriation from the National Assembly.
All citizens will be registered as members of SHIF including children born after the commencement of the Act who will be registered at birth.
It will consist of funds from, contribution under the act, appropriation by the National Assembly for indigent and vulnerable persons, National and County governments employees and any other employer.
Additionally, the Emergency Chronic and Critical Illness Fund shall be used for financing the costs and management of chronic illnesses after the depletion of the SHIF and to cover emergency treatment costs.