President William Ruto has defended the move by his administration to transition from the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) to the new Social Health Insurance Fund (SHIF).

The head of state disclosed that the main reason for the shift from NHIF to SHIF is because NHIF is limited. He explained that NHIF captures only a small section of the society leaving out millions of others without the ability to pay for hospital bills.

“It is my intention, as I committed to the public, that every Kenyan must have access to health and access to health insurance,” he said during a conversation with young Kenyans on the X (formerly Twitter) platform.

According to the head of state, the shift to the new health plan will see Kenyans pay Ksh.300 only instead of Ksh.500, and even those who cannot afford the Ksh.300, the government was going to pay for them.

“Every Kenyan should go to hospital, whether they are suffering from hypertension, or cancer, or diabetes, or whatever and get treatment. Either they get treatment because level 1, 2 and 3 are free or they can go to a referral hospital and there is an insurance system through SHIF that is going to make sure their bills are paid,” he stated

He said SHIF is different from NHIF in that the program runs on a digital health platform which comes with numerous benefits especially when it comes to accountability. He said NHIF was used to fraudulently enrich individuals at the expense of ordinary Kenyans.

“The biggest problem we have had with NHIF is the digitization process. We lose a lot of money because of collusion between hospitals and staff at NHIF. Some hospitals have more accountants than medical officers because they are gaining from the NHIF system,” he said

“At SHIF, we have now standardized all tariffs. There is no way you can be treated for malaria in one hospital and you pay Ksh. 1,000, and treated for malaria in another hospital and pay Ksh.100. We have standardized whether it is public or private hospitals,” explained Ruto

The President reiterated that the new Social Health Insurance Fund is a comprehensive programme that will change the face of Kenya and asked all and sundry to support the new system.

Under SHIF, he said Kenyans will no longer have to sell their land, or their property to settle their hospital bills.


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