By Ronald NjorogeNAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya plans to set aside 59 million U.S. dollars
for social health insurance in 2018, the government medical
insurance agency said on Thursday.
Hospital Insurance Fund CEO Geoffrey Mwangi told a media
briefing that the government is using social health insurance as
a means to ensure the country achieves universal health
million dollars will cater for Health Insurance Subsidy
Programme (HISP) while 40 million dollars will be for the
maternal health program,” Mwangi said.
HISP, which has
160,000 beneficiaries, targets the poorest members of society
who can not afford their health insurance.
National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) has 6.5 million paying
members each having between three or four dependants. He noted
that only 1.5 million members are in the informal sector.
“We are targeting to
enroll another 8 million members from the informal sector
because that is where the need for social health insurance is
the greatest,” Mwangi said.
He added that the
government is prioritizing affordable healthcare given that
currently households spent a disproportionate share of their
income on health issues.
The CEO said that
Kenya hopes to achieve universal health coverage by getting
those able to pay for insurance and make adequate contributions
to the social health kitty, while the government subsidizes the
cost of healthcare for the low-income population.