President Uhuru Kenyatta today detailed how the expanded National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) will cover 13 million, directly bringing improved and affordable health services to Kenyans.
The President said Jubilee’s new plan includes having the NHIF cover health conditions that require specialised treatment, like cancer, diabetes and heart diseases. These were previously not covered and attract prohibitive premiums from private entities.
The plan, as laid out in the Jubilee Manifesto released this week, also promises free health cover to all Kenyans aged 70 years and above.
It also will also provide free health cover to all new mothers and their babies for the first one year.
Families with physically challenged children are also set to get free health insurance under the new policy the Jubilee Party intends to implement.
Speaking when he toured Embu County, President Kenyatta, who was accompanied by Deputy President William Ruto, said the NHIF card will also enable patients to access treatment at mission and private hospitals.
“The NHIF card will be enough to cover costs of treatment for all Kenyans and this will certainly reduce the burden of medical costs for our citizens,” said the President when he spoke at Kiritiri, in Embu County.
“Medical conditions like cancer, heart diseases, diabetes and kidney ailments that used to force Kenyans to sell their farms and other properties will be covered by NHIF.”
In the last four years, President Kenyatta’s Administration has increased the number of Kenyans covered under the State health insurance scheme from 3.8 million in 2013 to 6.8 million. The target is to increase the number to 13 million within the next five years.
Through its Manifesto, the Jubilee Party also promises to set up 10 new referral hospitals across the country so as to ensure quality healthcare at the county level. The party also pledged to ensure that NHIF will also cater for a broader set of services.
The NHIF will also be expanded to improve availability of drugs by establishing cold chains for drugs and vaccines to ensure safe and high quality drugs are available across the country.
President Kenyatta has also given a commitment to establish at least one specialised cancer hospital in the country to reduce the financial burden and other challenges faced by patients seeking cancer treatment.