Biometric registration for Kenya’s universal health coverage scheme underway
A process to capture the biometric data of an initial number of one million poor Kenyan citizens within the framework of the country’s Universal Health Coverage (UHC) scheme has been set rolling.
President Uhuru Kenyatta launched the registration at a ceremony in the port city of Mombasa on Saturday, The Star reports. The President has asked the Ministries of Labor and Health to immediately take steps towards initiating the registration process which will target mainly indigent Kenyans who have little or no access to health care services due to poverty and hardship, the report added.
“We want a Kenya where every person, regardless of their financial status, is able to get quality healthcare anywhere in this country,” The Star quoted President Kenyatta as highlighting the importance of the UHC during the biometric registration launch.
“The identification of this one million households by the Ministries of Labour and Health as well as our County governments is set to begin in a few days across the entire country. The biometric registration of the identified poor households which we launch today is set to ensure that beneficiaries are identified when they seek services at the health care facility and at any National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) branches countrywide. An e-claim system will be used to ensure efficiency and to curb fraud and abuse…,” he added.
As he launched the registration, President Kenyatta also called on the country’s legislators to work on the required legislation vital for the commencement and operationalization of the universal health coverage scheme which has been running on a pilot basis in four counties already.
“Don’t delay this with unnecessary debates. We all know where we want to go. This is no time to show us your prowess in debates,” the President told lawmakers.
Mutahi Kagwe, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Health hailed the move by President Kenyatta, saying the start of the biometric registration process for the UHC heralds a whole new journey towards the country’s healthcare delivery experience.
Kenya’s efforts to ensure the effective implementation of the UHC is seen by some citizens as one of the legacies of President Uhuru Kenyatta. The Kenyan leader has vowed to put an end to the situation where Kenyan families continue to be rendered poor because of their expenses on health care.
The Council of Governors of Kenya is said to have endorsed the scheme and has pledged its full support for its successful execution. Counties are also expected to provide support for the unfolding of the project.
Kenya’s government has also collected biometrics from roughly 37 million people in the country for the Huduma Namba initiative.