President William Ruto signs controversial UHC bills

KENYA: Kenya’s President William Ruto has approved controversial legislation that will see the biggest shake-up of the health sector in more than 20 years.

His plan revolves around promoting universal healthcare, and requires all workers to contribute 2.75% of their salaries towards a new health fund.

The government says it will make healthcare more affordable and accessible for poorer Kenyans.

But it has proved unpopular with many Kenyans, who see it as a new tax.

They say it is the latest in a series of measures that Mr Ruto has introduced, worsening the cost-of-living crisis, despite the fact that he won elections last year with a promise to ease the financial difficulties of families.

Some also fear that the new healthcare fund will be beset by corruption, like the existing one, meaning they are often unable to access the health services they are entitled to.

But parliament has backed Mr Ruto, passing the Social Health Insurance Bill, along with three other health bills, on Tuesday.

Currently, Kenyans pay between 150 Kenyan shillings ($1; £0.80) and 1,700 shillings monthly to a National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF).

It will be replaced with a new fund, with the minimum contribution set to double and most salaried workers contributing a higher proportion of their pay.

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