The Ministry of Health is considering renaming the national health insurer from the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) to the National Social Health Insurance Fund (NSHIF) (NSHIF).
CS for Health Susan Wafula has revealed that there are plans to change the name as part of changes to the agency, which has previously been plagued by scandals.
“The ministry is working on a plan to refocus NHIF on primary health and to ensure that Kenyans from all walks of life have access to affordable quality healthcare,” the CS said.
The National Social Health Insurance Fund will be established once the fund has been updated. This occurs just over a year after the National Hospital Insurance Fund’s name was changed to the current National Health Insurance Fund. In January 2022, the name underwent a change.
This was supported by the fact that the fund was expanding the scope of service delivery by modifying its contract with healthcare providers. The board stated that pharmacies should be included in the new contracts because many other healthcare providers, such as hospitals, also provide healthcare.
This occurs as medical professionals question the fund’s capacity to forward the cause for universal health coverage. The National Health Insurance Fund’s contract for the officers’ full medical coverage was not renewed by the National Police Service or the Kenya Prisons Service.
On December 16, NHIF received word that a group of private insurance companies had won the competition. According to the Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union, investing in public institutions like the NHIF is the only way to ensure the success of UHC.
According to KMPDU SG Davji Atellah, “You cannot claim that you want government institutions to function when the same government gives billions to private insurance companies and yet we want to push the UHC of this country through NHIF.”