20,000 families in Lamu to get free NHIF cover

Lamu governor Fahim Twah and NHIF boss Geoffrey Mwangi during the signing of the MOU PHOTO COURTESY

Lamu,KENYA:The county government of Lamu on Thursday evening officially signed an MoU with the National Health Insurance Fund-NHIF that will immediately allow 20,000 families to access medical care free of charge.

The initiative only targets poor and vulnerable households that can’t afford to enroll into the insurance cover by themselves and will cost the county government Sh.120 Million.

Speaking shortly after signing the MoU,Lamu governor Fahim Twaha said their major objective is to eliminate cost barrier to the access of Universal Health Coverage-UHC by residents.

Twaha said the free medical scheme is also in line with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four Agenda that has Universal Health care among the main pillars..

“As a leadership who are aware that some of our people cant afford medical schemes,this comes to end struggles and agony of the poor and needy in Lamu. Counties have a duty to play our part in supporting the Big Four agenda and that’s why we are doing this.Each of the 20,000 families will have their own individual card fully paid for by the county government.They only have to go to hospital whenever sick and they will get all the attention,free of charge,”said Twaha.

Twaha said his administration was working towards the realization of the three pillars of UHC that include equity in access to health services, access to affordable healthcare and protection against financial risk for the most vulnerable through health financing.

He said there was no need for people to be driven into poverty due to paying for health services from their pockets and that the initiative was a response to providing the assurance that the much needed health services are available, affordable and of good quality.

Speaking at the function,NHIF boss Geoffrey Mwangi said “We are happy to have the county government of Lamu on board.This scheme means a lot to the vulnerable who will now get adequate medical attention without paying a dime.

Identification and registration of the 20,000 families to benefit from the venture has kicked off across the county.