The Social Health Authority's transition committee, which will lead the establishment of the new Social Health Insurance Fund (SHIF), was formally established on Tuesday by Health Cabinet Secretary (CS) Susan Nakhumicha.
A statement on X states that the committee was established by a gazette notice dated January 26, 2024, to facilitate Kenyans' smooth transfer from the venerable National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) to SHIF.
As noted by MoH, the committee will be led by Kap-Kirwok R. Jason.
The other members are Drs. Daniel Mwai, Kipruto Chermusoi Chesang, Jacinta N. Wasike, Gladys Wambui Mburu, Stephen Kaboro Mbugua, and Elizabeth N. Wangia.
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Drs. Stanley Bii, Jacob Otachi Orina, and Christopher Leparan Tialal round out the list.
On January 25, CS Nakhumicha announced that all procedures are in place for the gradual phase-out of NHIF and the shift to SHIF, which is scheduled to begin in March 2024.
According to her, MoH is just waiting on approval for the Act's regulations, after which due process will be carried out to guarantee that individual registration starts in March and contributions are made in the same month.
The CS attributed the need for a switch to the NHIF system's numerous fundamental flaws, which rendered it an unfeasible medical coverage option for Kenyans.
CS Nakhumicha continued by saying that the NHIF was only intended for Kenyans with salaries who could afford to pay it, ignoring the country's unemployed citizens. For this reason, a system was implemented to address the health concerns of all Kenyans, salaried or not.
Salaried workers will contribute 2.75% of their monthly salary to the SHIF, while unpaid Kenyans must contribute at least Ksh. 300.
The High Court had blocked the Act's implementation until the Court of Appeal overturned the High Court's orders on January 19.
In their verdict, a three-judge bench ruled that owing to the suspension of the roll-out of the new health fund, there is "a real and present danger to the health rights of countless citizens who are not parties to the litigation pending before our courts."