President William Ruto has elaborated on the workings of the recently enacted Universal Health Coverage bills and how they will benefit ordinary citizens.
Addressing a church congregation in Dagoretti on Sunday, Ruto explained that the new legislation will promote the collective ownership of healthcare facilities in local communities.
Also ensuring that these facilities are adequately supplied and efficiently managed.
He further, announced that under these bills, Kenyan citizens will have free access to medical treatment at all Level 1, 2, and 3 hospitals across the country.
“Every individual will be entitled to NHIF coverage, including those who cannot afford the Ksh500 premium as the government will cover the cost for you.”
The president expressed that by January 2023, every Kenyan will have access to this coverage, guaranteeing access to essential medical services.
He added that ordinary citizens would contribute Ksh300 for the coverage, while salaried individuals would pay 2.7% of their earnings for the same benefits.
“Those with higher incomes will contribute more because they can afford to do so. However, small-scale traders and vendors will pay less and still receive the same level of healthcare services as those with higher incomes.”
No more flying abroad
Ruto further revealed that the new legislation includes a ‘critical illness’ provision aimed at assisting those with chronic and emergency medical conditions like cancer, ensuring that Kenyans no longer need to spend exorbitant amounts seeking treatment abroad.
The president also issued a stern warning, promising to take decisive action against corrupt government officials who misappropriate health resources.
Last Thursday, Ruto signed four UHC bills, including the Primary Health Care Act, 2023, the Digital Health Act, 2023, the Facility Improvement Financing Act, 2023, and the Social Health Insurance Act, 2023.
These acts provide the necessary legal and institutional framework for the successful implementation of Universal Health Coverage, according to State House.
“These legislations will revolutionize healthcare in Kenya; they will save lives, empower communities, and make us a stronger and healthier nation.”