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Legal battle looms as Kenyan moves to court over Ruto’s newly launched UHC

Kenyan files two cases in court challenging Ruto’s healthcare plan, the Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

Two petitions against the Social Health Insurance and Digital Health Acts have been filed on claim that the laws  are discriminatory, unclear to the beneficiaries, and infringe on the confidentiality and privacy of Kenyans.

Dominic Masinya Oreo in a petition submitted to a Nairobi High Court on October 20 contended that the Social Health Insurance Act is unconstitutional due to its vague and poorly-informed recommendations.

“It is unclear and unsustainable how the proposed Social Health Insurance scheme will be financed through premium contributions which are unreliable for healthcare resource mobilization in a country with substantial poverty,” Masinya stated

“The Social Health Insurance Act relies on voluntary premium contributions and basing entitlement on contributions excludes many who are unable to pay, entrenches inequalities.”

The Social Health Insurance Act, in Masinya’s opinion, is vague on whether the recently launched Primary Health Care Fund and the Emergency and Chronic Care Fund will benefit all Kenyans or just some.

He further states that the plan lacks procedures and reliable methods for categorizing participants, and he asks the court to invalidate the Social Health Insurance Act for violating the fundamental principles of the legislation.

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Masinya demanded that the court impose a halt to the Health Insurance legislation in order to save the jobs of the NHIF employees, as the petitioner also claimed that the legislation will interfere with the NHIF’s activities and result in the unemployment of many NHIF personnel.

In his other petition on the Digital Health Act, Masinya faults the act for interference with the privacy and confidentiality of many Kenyans, and further criticized the act for failing to clarify data handling, particularly addressing concerns related to data misuse.

“The act lacks provisions on international data transfers, defining safeguards for cross-border data flows, and adhering to international standards to prevent data compromise,” read part of Masinya’s petition.

The petitioner demands that the court prohibit the Ministry of Health from implementing the Social Health Insurance and the Digital Health Acts.

This comes barely two days since President William Ruto signed into law four Bills that will steer implementation of the Universal Health Coverage (UHC)

The news laws in the UHC include the Digital Health, Facility Improvement Financing, Primary Health Care and Social Health Insurance Acts.

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