July 17, 2024

NHIF shocker to workers over split plans

2 min read
NHIF shocker to workers over split plans

NHIF workers to reapply for jobs in new agencies that will be created after disbandment, who will only be absorbed based on merit

NHIF workers to reapply for jobs in new agencies that will be created after disbandment, who will only be absorbed based on merit.

Employees of the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) will be required to reapply for jobs after the split into three outfits as part of planned reforms to make it more effective.

In the transitional terms of the Social Health Insurance Bill 2023, which proposes to dissolve NHIF and establish a Social Health Authority to manage three funds, it is stated that the new Authority will acquire all NHIF assets but will only hire employees based on merit.

The NHIF workers who want to work for the Social Health Authority, which will be in charge of three funds (the primary healthcare fund, the healthcare fund, and the fund for emergencies, chronic illnesses, and severe illnesses), will need to submit fresh applications.

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“The board of the Social Health Authority — shall competitively recruit and appoint its staff —- subject to the approved staff establishment and on such terms and conditions of service as may be determined by the board,” reads the bill in part. “The staff of the Fund [NHIF] are eligible to apply for the positions advertised by the authority and may be considered for appointment where they are suitably qualified for the positions advertised.”

NHIF has over 1,800 employees and it is not clear what will be the staff size of the three funds that will succeed it if the bill is passed into law.

The Bill says the NHIF staff not appointed by the authority will have to either retire from public service or be redeployed elsewhere.

The government wants to use the three funds to run the Universal Healthcare (UHC) programme that promises affordable healthcare for all Kenyans.

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