INSURANCE REFORMS AND PROVISION OF UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE SERVICES IN KENYA
Keitany Jematia, Faith
Kirigo Mwangi, Ann
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Universal health care is a vital part of Kenya that aims to ensure Kenyans receive quality health care services without suffering financial hardships. To address the problems in the health sector and make healthcare more accessible and affordable the government introduced various healthcare reforms, among them is establishing health insurance through National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF). In its early years NHIF focused mainly with the formal sector employees, those in the informal sector, in agriculture, small scale business people were left out. However the government has made reforms to ensure that there is equity and access to health services by the poor and those in the informal sector. In the recent years private insurance companies have established health insurance to ensure a wider coverage of health insurance. This paper offers insights on reforms in insurance towards attainment of Universal healthcare in Kenya. This paper reviews the experiences of other countries and draws lessons from those experiences. This paper will find out what Kenya has done in the health insurance sector in ensuring Universal health coverage, although there are other reforms that can be adopted from other countries towards realization of the right healthcare and steer he country towards the desired health goals. The paper recommends that the decision to introduce universal health insurance be premised on a careful and thorough assessment of all the issues being raised, and implementation based on clearly outlined stages.