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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenya allocate US 59 million dollars
for social health insurance in 2018

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.

The National 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 coverage.

“Approximately 19 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.

Meanwhile, Kenya’s 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.

           

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