, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 18 – Hannah Muriithi is the new Chairperson of the National Health Insurance Fund board while former KNUT Chairperson Mudzo Nzili is the Vice Chairperson.
Muriithi replaces Mohamud Ali who resigned after being elected Governor of Marsabit.
Speaking at the unveiling of the chairperson, Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki said the new board should prioritize the realization of Universal Health Coverage which is the main agenda for the ministry.
“This board should recognise the task ahead of them in realising the Universal Health Coverage. I want to assure them of my commitment and support,” she said.
Kariuki also said that Permanent Secretary for Health Peter Tum will be part of the board to ensure constant engagement with the ministry.
This will include decision making and policy formulation.
Last year, former Health CS Cleopa Mailu suspended the decision by NHIF to limit outpatient visits in hospitals to only four per year.
Mailu’s decision followed public outcry and directed that further consultations between the NHIF Board and stakeholders be carried out with a view of finding a friendlier alternative.
Kariuki further said cases of malpractice such as corruption and poor service delivery shall not be tolerated.
In line with Universal Health Coverage, Afya House has selected a set of four counties Kisumu, Isiolo, Machakos and Nyeri that will be placed on a 100 per cent UHC piloting programme with only 10,000 households in the remaining 43 counties being placed on the test phase.
CS Kariuki defended the ministry’s decision to undertake 100 per cent piloting in only four counties saying the move was founded on scientific view.
She said the national government will mobilize available resources from conditional grants to fund the programme in the 43 counties factored into the plan.
Students’ health cover will form part of deliberations for the board next week to see how the scheme will be implemented.
Last week, President Uhuru Kenyatta launched a Sh4.05 billion National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) comprehensive medical cover that will cater for all students in public secondary schools.
Through the NHIF cover, the Government will pay a premium of Sh1,350 per student for the three million students in public secondary schools.