NCCK calls on state to ensure Unbiased Implementation of SHIF

The National Council of Churches (NCCK) has called on the government to guarantee that the Social Health Insurance Fund (SHIF), the nation’s new health program, provides equitable coverage to all residents.

Dr. Edward Nzinga, the chair of the NCCK in Machakos, voiced concerns about the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF). He highlighted the fund’s discriminatory nature stating that it had previously benefited primarily civil servants. Nzinga spoke to the media at Pope Paul VI Seminary in Katoloni, Machakos.

He underlined that in order to avoid a repeat of the problems with the NHIF in the new program, the Ministry of Health needed to solve those problems. Dr. Nzinga bemoaned the denial of medical care to the latter group. He also went on to draw attention to the different services provided to civil personnel and private citizens under the same plan.

The demand for healthcare impartiality follows the Court of Appeal’s decision to overturn High Court directives that had previously impeded the Social Health Insurance Act’s implementation. SHIF will soon take the place of NHIF with approval from the Ministry of Health, which will require all Kenyans to register.

This will count as a measure to guarantee fair access to health care for the underprivileged and those in the unorganized sector who were not previously covered by the NHIF.

Health CS Susan Nakhumicha addressed the importance of SHIF in clearing the path for the introduction of Universal Health Coverage. In keeping with the government’s aim to expand health coverage, the government anticipates the fund to help make health services available to all Kenyans.

The state also hopes SHIF’s implementation will be smooth, drawing lessons from NHIF, which has faced significant hurdles in recent times. This will ensure equitable and accessible healthcare for all citizens.

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