Medical Fund Bill brought before parliament seeks to create a national medical fund to fully finance the treatment of chronic diseases, especially for patients who cannot afford the cost of medical care.
The bill will make the government to cater for specialized treatment of cancer, heart and kidney patients if MPs approve a bill proposed by Nandi Hills MP Alfred Keter.
The bill is currently before the Budget and Appropriations Committee for consideration because it has a financial implication on the national budget.
Though the bill should not be confused with the NHIF Act, which provides medical insurance to all diseases because it seeks to categorize the three life-threatening diseases under State care.
Mr. Keter said NHIF has a limit in terms of financing treatment of the critical diseases, what he is proposing is to make it mandatory for the government to pay for all the expenses of cancer, kidney and heart patients.
This is a good step towards universal health care, which is one of President Kenyatta’s Big Four agendas. About 40,000 cases of critical ailments are reported annually, with a number of Kenyans spending millions of shillings abroad for treatment.
Mr Keter’s proposal is heavily borrowed from the South Korea model whose single-payer programme has been successful in mobilising funds for the entire population.
According to fiscal analysts in the Parliamentary Budget Office, Sh2 billion is required to finance the board to manage the medical fund.
About Sh250 billion in Exchequer support, grants and loans has been invested in public health financing both at the national and county government levels.
Under the NHIF package, patients in need of chemotherapy get a cover of Sh25,000 per session while those in need of radiotherapy get Sh18,000. NHIF also provides a cover of Sh8,000 for CT scan and Sh15,000 for MRI.
Patients with cancer and other non-communicable diseases are provided with a cover of Sh5,000 for monthly clinic check-ups.
The expenses are quite beyond those with no formal employment.
NHIF card holders also have Sh500, 000 cover for basic heart procedures and surgery as well as kidney treatment and Sh10, 000 per dialysis session.
But with a majority of Kenyans not members of NHIF, affording the treatment cost is beyond them.
The limit of Sh800, 000 per year for NHIF card holders is also another challenge considering that the treatment costs in millions.
Well my question is will Kenyans really benefit from this bill because supposedly it has come up when most staff in government are ailing .and another question is will all Kenyans in dire need of this care be equally reached by this cover?come on people lets think and ensure the government abide by its promises because we are the ones to suffer.
Bill seeks cover for cancer, heart and kidney patients: Draft law pushes for national fund to fully finance treatment of the diseases. https://t.co/X4B3CzhPfJ
— Breaking News (@News_Kenya) October 26, 2018