Kenyans may soon get their National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) contributions deducted directly from their mobile money wallets like M-Pesa if proposals to fund the Universal Health Coverage get the nod.
According to Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe, the Kenyan government, through the Ministry of Health, has been holding talks with mobile money service providers to develop a system that would see eligible Kenyans deducted Sh17 from their daily transactions as NHIF contribution.
“We are working with firms like Safaricom and other money service providers so that when you are doing your normal transactions if you allow them to, they will just deduct Sh17 from your daily transactions. You will not notice it and they will send it to NHIF and even before you know it, you have a cover,” Kagwe told People Daily
According to the CS, the ministry will soon announce the scheme to Kenyans so that those eligible for NHIF cover can subscribe to the daily deduction services through the mobile service providers
“We are in the negotiating stage. We have done a lot of work with them, I think in the next couple of days we will be announcing this scheme to the public,” added Kagwe.
The government has been urging Kenyans to enroll for the NHIF cover.
“Until the day you need it, when you get sick, then you realize you have been paying Sh17 and your family is covered. That’s the sort of thinking that we must have. We must appreciate that taking care of ourselves is our responsibility. The government will do its part. It will build hospitals but by the end of the day it’s your responsibility to get insured,” said Kagwe.
“Universal Health Care is about giving money to register a vulnerable group of people, that is just one of the aspects of UHC of affordability, meaning that one who is not able to pay can access quality and affordable healthcare,” said Kagwe.
Additionally, Kagwe says the government will adopt a new training curriculum for medical personnel in the country to align with emerging technological global trends.
“The curriculum that we are currently using was put together many years ago, meanwhile the world has moved on. Things have changed. We are trying to change because the global medical trends have changed,” said Kagwe.
The curriculum, he said, will set qualification standards to address most of the challenges encountered by fresh graduates when they join the world of work.