NHIF is outdated – Inside Raila’s proposal for health reforms

Monday, August 9th, 2021 11:06 |
ODM party leader Raila Odinga addressing a gathering during a past event. Photo/PD/File

ODM party leader Raila Odinga has called for urgent reforms in the health sector particularly addressing the issue of human resources and infrastructure.

In a statement issued on Monday, August 9, Raila said that the Universal Health Care system (UHC) cannot exist or be implemented in a vacuum, stating that: "UHC needs a health system which works effectively in terms of the health caregivers and administrator as well as the institutional architecture of the health system."

While crediting the national government for its role in providing for the health care needs of Kenyans, Raila argued that faith-based health facilities are more accessible and provide better health services to Kenyans.

"The faith-based facilities, very often are highly sibsidized by those who run them and are much more accessible to our people than the purely private ones," Raila said.

In his statement, the ODM chief called for the review of the cost of treatment at private hospitals, arguing that UHC can only benefit Kenyans when the cost of treatment at private hospitals is fair.

"The cost factor in private health facilities is a conversation we need to seriously have so as to determine how the advantages that UHC brings can open doors to our people in accessing private health care services," Raila said.

Raila further argued that counties play a critical role in the access of health care services noting that devolved units play a critical role in the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) scheme.

"It is completely outdated to continue calling this body National Hospital Insurance Fund. What we are insuring are not hospitals but health. Focusing on hospitals is a rather morbid way of interpreting the mission of such an important insurance scheme," he said.

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