INSIGHTS

Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Acts

The Act creates a system of accountability that ensures health education, disease prevention, family health services, enviromnental health and hygiene, first aid of minor illnesses and injuries, psychological support, rehabilitation and palliative care all commence at the household level.

Introduction

Introduction

The four acts President William Ruto signed into law include the Primary Health Care Act, Facility Improvement Financing Act, Digital Health Act and the Social Health Insurance Act.

These Acts all contribute to the mandate of Article 43 of the Constitution of Kenya the right to the highest attainable standard of health as a fundamental right. It stipulates that every person has the right to access healthcare services, including reproductive health care.

Objectives

According to section 3 of the act, the objective of this Act is to;

  • Promote and fulfill the rights of all persons in Kenya towards the progressive realization of their right to the highest attainable standards of health care;
  • Promote the implementation of primary health care through a systematic approach and clear delienation of roles of all stakeholders towards realization of universal health coverage;
  • Provide for the establishment of primary health care networks, community health units and other stakeholder centered engagement forums for sustainable provision of primary health care services;
  • Provide for the role of the multi disciplinary team in the provision of primary health care services; and
  • Provide for the role of community health officers, community health assistants and community health promoters in the provision of community based primary health care services.

Dispute Resolution And Miscellaneous Provisions

The Dispute Resolution Tribunal provides an avenue for appealing decisions made under the Act. Individuals dissatisfied with decisions can appeal to this Tribunal within one month, followed by further appeals to the High Court. The Tribunal, comprising a Chairperson appointed by the President and members appointed by the Judicial Service Commission, holds authority to review, reverse, revoke, or vary Board decisions. It has specific criteria for member appointment, tenure, quorum, and removal from office.

Regarding Stakeholder Engagement and Digitization, the Act mandates the Authority to facilitate public participation and stakeholder engagement in its functions. Additionally, it mandates the digitalization of all Act-related processes and services, emphasizing secure, verifiable technology, conforming to data protection laws.

The Act outlines various Offences, Penalties, and Legal Proceedings. It stipulates offenses like failure to pay contributions, misappropriation, making false statements, or misusing funds. Convictions may lead to fines, imprisonment, or both. Regulations for effective implementation are entrusted to the Cabinet Secretary, developed in consultation with the Board.

Further, the Act asserts its Supremacy, Applicability, and Winding Up . It prevails over inconsistent laws related to social health insurance. The Insurance Act pertains only to the Authority concerning claims administration. The Act repeals the National Health Insurance Fund Act of 1998. In the event of winding up, cash balances are directed to the Exchequer, while other assets are transferred to the National Treasury.

Key Insights at a Glance

The Act sets up a Primary Health Care Workforce that shall include community health promoters and health care providers.
The National Government may also provide additional allocation of resources to the couny government for the effective performance of its functions.
The County Government shall also set up a County Primary Health Care Advisory Committee to assist in the functions above in order to manage health care services provided.
The act provides for an account opening for each public health facility and all monies received or raised shall be channeled to such accounts. The donations and receivables may either be retained by the facility or re-donated to another facility.

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