President William Ruto on Thursday signed the Universal Health Care Bill, which is set to support the improvement of the Universal Health Coverage plan.
The Bills are the Social Health Insurance Bill, Digital Health Bill, Primary Healthcare Bill, and the Facility Improvement Financing Bill, which were passed by the National Assembly on Tuesday.
The Digital Health Bill aims to promote telemedicine and digitize health services by ending written transactions.
Health Minister Susan Nakhumicha said that the new plan is better as it “will allow Kenyans of all walks of life to contribute according to their income”.
She said lower earners currently pay a higher percentage of their income than the better off.
Some health and civil society organisations have also spoken out against the health plan, saying that the 2.75% deduction is substantial, considering the recent rise in fuel prices and living costs.
Kenyans will be required to register to the proposed National Social Health Insurance Fund to access public health services and those who fail to enroll would be denied services.
Employers, who are required to match their employees’ contributions, have opposed the 2.75% deduction as too high.
The government will help Kenyans who cannot contribute towards the fund through a kitty of 26 billion shillings.
They say that it will hurt businesses and aggravate the cost-of-living crisis, which fueled a wave of protests across Kenya earlier this year.