The National Health and Insurance Fund (NHIF) Chairman Lewis Nguyai has urged leaders and philanthropists in the country to identify and support Kenyans who cannot afford to pay for the NHIF health cover.
Nguyai said the support will actualize the government’s commitment to provide health for all, and encouraged all Kenyans who are able to pay for their health insurance contributions to do so.
Addressing a press briefing on Thursday after his introduction ceremony to Board members at NHIF offices in Nairobi, the Chairman said the government has mandated the Insurance to deliver the universal health coverage agenda and as a result, the Ministry of Health commissioned a panel of experts to recommend reforms to reposition NHIF as a strategic purchaser of healthcare towards achieving the goal.
Nguyai was appointed as the NHIF Board of Management Chairman through a gazette Notice No.1709 dated February 23, 2021 with effect from April 22, 2021, taking over from the outgoing Chairperson Hannah Muriithi.
He said NHIF had also embarked on human resource restructuring and extensive Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) reforms that has seen many internal processes being digitized to ease service delivery and to curb fraud, noting that some of them are the NHIF Act Amendments that are due to be discussed in Parliament.
Nguyai disclosed that the Board was mandated with the implementation of the 55 recommendations and to date it has implemented 31 while 24 are still in the implementation process.
The Chairman announced that the inauguration of the Electronic Claim Management System witnessed recently in Western region will be rolled out to the rest of the counties.
“In line with the government’s vision in ensuring all Kenyans have access to healthcare services without financial hardships, the Board and I are committed to guide the management in ensuring that this goal is actualized,” assured Nguyai.
He also promised to always engage members of the fourth estate by giving them accurate information to disseminate to members of the public to avoid misinterpretation.
“It is important to inform all Kenyans that they have access to health cover, the process has been digitized and one can now do it from their phones,” said Nguyai.
NHIF Chief Executive Officer Peter Kamunyu said the Insurance is enhancing its engagements with the service providers to ensure services offered are efficient and in real time.
He said NHIF has launched the biometric registration which will be in tandem with the electronic claims to enable it offer more support to members.
“We urge Kenyans to register their biometrics which are not only found in our 156 service points but also at the hospitals,” said Kamunyu.
By Winnie Mwende and Njeri Kariuki