HEALTHCARE FINANCING COMMITTEE CONTRIVES ON DELIVERING UNIVERSAL HEALTH COVERAGE
The healthcare financing committee held a dinner meeting on 31st May 2018, at Pride Inn Hotel to strategize on how to deliver UHC from the Private health sector perspective. The committee strategy is also under the BAF project that was granted to KHF for advocacy. The dinner meeting being chaired by Dr. Walter Obita, took three hours and was very intense and informative. In his opening remarks, he highlighted that the committee has been tasked to lead universal health coverage within KHF.
Dr. Obita reminded the attendees that Universal healthcare basically looks at quality healthcare, accessibility and reduction of out of pocket expenses while accessing health services. He further reiterated that KHF fully supports UHC which is part of H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta’s BIG 4 Agenda number 4, Affordable Healthcare. KHF’s approach is to have both private and public health providers to be able to offer this care because there will be cross – referrals and the patients should be able to access this care. There was a suggestion on an engagement on risk pooling mechanisms to ensure agreement on the type of what mixed methods that can be used in order to reduce exposure on both public and private insurance insurance companies.
One of the agendas floated was to have the private Insurers be the first to insure claims for the patients to access care followed by National Hospital Insurance Fund(NHIF). KHF agreed that there should be a benefit package that should be used by the patients when they seek care. This provides an opportunity for the private insurance companies to assess the gaps within NHIF so as to develop a benefit package that addresses these gaps. There was also a suggestion that we should have a health benefits regulatory body that can provide an oversight for both NHIF and private insurers. This will provide an enabling environment for both public and private insurance, increase accountability and have transparency.
This initiative will enable innovations to look into health financing that can be introduced in the counties, and enable citizens to access healthcare at an affordable rates. For example Makueni County Health cover where each house hold is supposed to pay Ksh.500.00 to access care with no additional cost. The benefit package should also concentrate on primary healthcare.
Dr. Amit Thakker – KHF Chairman highlighted that KHF has started County Stakeholder forum which is under the BAF project and is focusing on healthcare financing towards achieving UHC. So far KHF has covered two counties successfully and has a plan to cover seven counties. There was an agreement that NHIF should be advised to pay first key focus on the poor in the society.
The meeting was well attended by Amref healthcare, Fountain Healthcare, Carepay, Business Advocacy Fund, Access Afya, Association of professional coders, Health store east Africa, The Nairobi Hospital, Jubilee Insurance and KHF secretariat.