NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 14 – Civil servants and members of the disciplined forces will now enjoy air rescue and ambulances services under the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) medical cover launched on Wednesday.
The medical cover launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta targets 220,000 public servants and the disciplined forces, in which the government is expected to use Sh360 million in a move to improve health care access to the target groups.
“I am aware that this undertaking demands that the government progressively increase investment in health, in line with the Abuja Declaration which required that governments allocate at least 15 percent of their budgets to the health sector.”
“This will definitely present challenges in view of the devolved system of government that calls for leadership from both levels of government to minimise fragmentation of public financing pool available from time to time,” he stated.
The medical cover will be rolled out countrywide by NHIF in partnership with AMREF and the Kenya Red Cross.
The president said this is part of his government’s wider plan to offer universal health care for all its citizens while challenging the county governments to allocate more money in the health sector to compliment the work of the national government.
He said the move will help minimize fragmentation of public financing pool available from time to time.
“Achieving universal health financing coverage is a challenge not only for developing countries, but also for the most advanced economies. It has been recognised that having a large proportion of the population without health insurance has a negative impact on overall health indicators. When people are unable to access healthcare due to financial barriers, it becomes imperative for the government to intervene to address the issue,” he pointed out.
“In our health care system that is largely dependent on direct out of pocket payment for services, a large population of poor Kenyans remain excluded from accessing quality health care.”
The president assured that the Government is committed to ensure that no Kenyan succumbs to disease due to inability to afford treatment.
He directed the Ministry of Health to implement innovative health financing strategies that will ensure inability to pay does not undermine Kenyans’ access to essential healthcare services.
“My government is dedicated to eliminating this kind of vulnerability, to enable our people to lead productive lives,” President Kenyatta said.
The President disclosed that under the enhanced cover, civil servants and members of the disciplined forces will receive emergency treatment when they need it, wherever they need it.
“This is a crucial service, especially for our security officers, who put themselves on the front line against our enemies, to ensure that Kenyans are safe wherever they are,” the President said.