Added Deduction for Educators and Government Employees
Teachers and other civil officials may face pay cuts as a result of the upcoming passage of the Social Health Insurance Fund (SHIF) bill. Despite widespread opposition, this bill has advanced to the second reading in Parliament.
Members of Parliament from various political parties have endorsed revisions to the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) transition plan, which includes altered payment rates. The bill’s goal is to create a Social Security Insurance Authority to replace the present NHIF, and it will be debated by the entire House.
When the measure becomes law, all taxpayers, including teachers and civil officials, will be required to withhold 2.75% of their wages to finance SHIF. This development has generated concern among civil society organizations, which have warned against burdening Kenyan citizens more.
Kimani Ichung’wah, Majority Leader of the National Assembly, welcomes the proposal, saying it will change healthcare service and battle corruption that has diverted monies meant for the sick.
According to Ichung’wah, SHIF aspires to build on the country’s healthcare gains and accelerate the goal of Universal Health Coverage (UHC), while tackling the inefficiencies and governance difficulties that have plagued NHIF and assuring financial sustainability.
Minority Whip Junet Mohamed adds that corruption is still a major issue that must be addressed if the healthcare system is to improve.
Civil society organizations vehemently oppose the proposed 2.75% monthly deduction from taxpayers’ pay stubs, blaming the government of imposing more taxes without taking into account the people’s financial situation.
The Okoa Uchumi group further accuses the government of dismissing public involvement in bill-related forums as mere formality.
The Social Health Insurance Bill is one of four legislative measures from the Executive intended to speed the health plan’s implementation. The Digital Health Bill, the Primary Healthcare Bill, and the Facility Improvement Bill are among the other bills.