Mutahi Kagwe.. New CS Kagwe in health.
Mutahi  Kagwe in parliament. PHOTO | BMS

New Health Cabinet Secretary nominee, Mutahi Kagwe wants National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) rates be increased. Workers will pay elevated rates to make the NHIF remain afloat.

Mr Kagwe wants all Kenyans compelled to contribute to the NHIF in support of the universal healthcare roll-out, adding that deductions should be made in proportion to income level.

In 2018 DCI George Kinoti described the NHIF KES 50 Billion syndicate as the cruelest graft that “I have ever encountered", noting that the culprits will be hunted and arraigned in court. None of the culprits was jailed nor the money returned.

Currently, NHIF contribution is mandatory for formal workers, but voluntary for those in the informal sector and the unemployed.

Last week Sh6 billion NHIF held in reserve was swept fraudulently and now the body is in turbulent times.

It's allegedly allegedly that more than Sh5 billion may have been used on printing the AfyaCare cards used in the four counties where the Universal Health Care (UHC) project was piloted.

Contributors to the scheme includes Informal workers who pay Sh500 a month while those in formal employment contribute between Sh500 and Sh1,700 a month to cater for healthcare services at NHIF-accredited facilities.

“There are many Kenyans who cannot afford to pay for NHIF and the most able must be made to support the less able. It is a principle of social democracy,” Mr Kagwe told the committee chaired by Speaker of the National Assembly, Justin Muturi during his vetting.

"We need to think outside the box. Those earning more should be prepared to pay more towards insurance," the former Minister for Information and Communications told the vetting panel.

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