National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) recently announced that they will be increasing the rates of the contributions by about 500 % – 600% along with establishing outpatient coverage. The Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) sought to have NHIF restrained from enforcing the new contributions.
Civil Society Organizations (CSO’s) held series of meetings where they strategized ways of supporting NHIF’s new plan. They also arranged a meeting with senior NHIF officials to show support of NHIF’s proposals to establish outpatient coverage. In the meeting it was planned to give a set of constructive suggestions to improve results, accelerate uptake and win over great public support. The first meeting at NHIF offices was on 2nd November. Unfortunately the person expected and an appointment had been booked with, Mr. Chacha Marwa, did not attend but he sent two of NHIF’s staff to give a presentation of their current and proposed benefits.
ALP together with other civil society health advocacy groups attended a court hearing to witness the COTU vs NHIF hearing to oppose legal barriers to expand health benefits.ALP and other activists and patient weared matching T-shirts with an image of pills. This symbolized the pills family need on an outpatient basis to stay working and healthy.
Roselyn Buyeka from Kenya’s Stop the Stockouts campaign confirmed that there is a strong need of outpatient coverage including medicine and lab work for people with chronic diseases.
The advocacy was aimed at ensuring that each Kenyan realize his/her constitutional rights. Further,the activist urged NHIF to undertake civil education to ensure that existing and proposed benefits are widely understood by everyone and that facilities under contract to NHIF are equipped and staffed to effectively deliver constitutional rights to health to all Kenyan.
ALP together with other civil society health advocacy groups have been pressing NHIF to adopt more progressive health policies to increase access. Also they have been opposing legal barriers to rollout of expanded benefits.