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Ruto signs progressive Universal Health Coverage bills into Law

Kenyans will now access quality healthcare in an efficient and affordable manner after President signed Universal Health Coverage bills.

This follows the signing of four revolutionary and progressive Universal Health Coverage bills on Thursday by President William Ruto.

They are the Primary Health Care Act, 2023, the Digital Health Act, 2023, the Facility Improvement Financing Act, 2023 and the Social Health Insurance Act, 2023. The Act will provide the necessary legal and institutional framework for the successful rollout of Universal Health Coverage.

“These laws will transform healthcare in Kenya; they will save lives, empower communities and make us a stronger and healthier nation,” said President William Ruto.

The President said the Act will complement the Community Health Policy and Primary Health Care and Health Financing Strategies, putting an end to challenges in healthcare service delivery.

He noted that the Social Health Insurance Act repeals the current National Health Insurance Fund and establishes three new funds. They are the Primary Healthcare Fund, the Social Health Insurance Fund, and the Emergency, Chronic and Critical Illness Fund.

The Head of State said the Primary Healthcare Fund will purchase services from health facilities at levels 1 to 3 while the Social Hefulfilsurance Fund will cover services at levels 4 to 6.

He said the Emergency, Chronic and Critical Illness Fund will handle emergency and chronic illness costs once social health insurance is depleted. “This fulfils the express wishes of Article 43 (2) of the Constitution, which provides that no Kenyan should be denied emergency medical treatment,” he said.

Additionally, the Facility Improvement Financing Act addresses underfunding in public health facilities, while the Digital Health Act streamlines technology adoption to enhance data sharing and resource utilization.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua said the Government is committed to changing the architecture of the country’s primary healthcare to ensure every Kenyan has access to affordable and quality care.

Present were Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, speakers Moses Wetang’ula (National Assembly), Amason Kingi (Senate), Attorney General Justin Muturi, Cabinet Secretaries Susan Nakhumicha (Health), Eliud Owalo (ICT) Soipan Tuya (Environment), Rebecca Miano (Trade), Florence Bore (Labour), Solicitor General Shadrack Mose, Governors led by the Council of Governors Health Committee Chair Muthomi Njuki, National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wah, Permanent Secretaries, among others.

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Written by News Break

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