Nakhumicha upbeat as appellate court clears SHIF hurdle

Susan Nakhumicha

Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha. 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha has lauded the Court of Appeal for lifting a High Court order that stopped the implementation of the Social Health Insurance Fund (SHIF).

In a press statement issued on Saturday, Ms Nakhumicha noted that the verdict, “paves the way for a robust healthcare system in the country.”

She highlighted the integral role of SHIF in achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC), a flagship project of the Kenya Kwanza administration's Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda.

The fund, domiciled in the Social Health Authority (SHIA), aims to streamline and strengthen health service delivery in Kenya.

“I applaud the Court of Appeal for its swift decision greenlighting the implementation of the Social Health Insurance Fund (SHIF). This opens the door for a resilient healthcare system that perfectly aligns with the laid-out strategies for the enrollment of UHC,” said Ms Nakhumicha.

On Thursday, the Court of Appeal lifted an order, barring the implementation of the SHIF.

Comprehensive healthcare

The SHIF, Ms Nakhumicha said, is poised to address the limitations observed in the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) by prioritising equitable access to affordable and comprehensive healthcare services for all Kenyans.

“The patient-based approach aims to provide inclusive coverage for common illnesses, accidents, chronic conditions, and critical illnesses, thereby reducing catastrophic expenditures for costly services not previously covered by NHIF,” said Ms Nakhumicha.

The SHIF is part of a comprehensive healthcare reform package that includes the Digital Health Act, Primary Healthcare Act, and Facility Improvement Financing Act.

The Primary Healthcare Act, currently being implemented through the absorption of 100,000 Community Health Promoters, aims to strengthen preventive health services.

Simultaneously, the Digital Health Act will promote telemedicine and digitisation of health services, contributing to the elimination of corruption through transparent transactions within health facilities.

On the other hand, the Facility Improvement Financing Act will ensure funds raised in public health facilities are reinvested to adequately resource hospitals for smooth day-to-day running and efficient health service delivery.