13 punitive clauses proposed in the NHIF amendment Bill, 2021!


Nhif-card/Image Courtesy

882 Kenyans have signed a petition calling on the Cabinet Secretary and NHIF Board to review the 13 harmful clauses in the NHIF Act Regulations, 2023.The clauses negate efforts towards  access to affordable, quality healthcare for all.

Healthcare as a fundamental right is under threat from the proposed National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which contains 13 clauses that could limit  access to affordable, quality healthcare.

These clauses include denying treatment to dependents with sickle cell anaemia, denying treatment to your partner if you are not formally married, and forcing the unemployed or those living below the poverty line to contribute KES 1,000 per month to NHIF. Other concerning clauses include a lack of communication about rejected applications, the burden of contributions falling on the unemployed rather than those who need it most, and inadequate transparency around tariffs payable to NHIF.

Amnesty  International  that has launched the Online petition believes  that access to healthcare is a human right that should not be denied or restricted by punitive clauses in legislation..

The 13 punitive clauses that potentially hinder access to affordable health care under NHIF Include:

Under the proposed amendments:

  • Dependants diagnosed with sickle cell anaemia can be denied treatment under NHIF because the condition isn’t classified as a chronic illness.
  • Your partner can be denied treatment under your cover because you are not formally married.
  • Polygamous unions are not recognised. Therefore, only one wife can be a beneficiary.
  • The unemployed or living below the poverty line will be forced to make mandatory monthly contributions of KES 1,000 to NHIF.
  • Your rejected application to access the fund will not be communicated to you.
  • The unemployed and not those who necessarily need the NHIF cover bear the burden of contributing to the fund.
  • The employed must pay 2.7% of their gross income to NHIF.
  • Self-employed people could potentially pay less than the unemployed for the NHIF cover. Regardless, the 2.7% expected contribution is high considering other business-related costs.
  • Using short code *155# to access the cover excludes NHIF members who don’t have mobile phones or are unfamiliar with the SSD service.
  • It is unclear exactly when NHIF will add healthcare providers to its panel in a year, leaving you guessing.
  • Inspection of health facilities will only happen once a year, creating room for corrupt practices that could impact your access to quality healthcare.
  • Health facilities could make claims on your NHIF cover without you being notified.
  • Publication of tariffs payable to NHIF is not sufficient.

Amnesty International is a global movement of more than 10 million people in over 150 countries and territories who campaign to end abuses of human rights



About Author

2 thoughts on “13 punitive clauses proposed in the NHIF amendment Bill, 2021!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *