The government is seeking to register 8.5 million new members into the health insurance scheme, Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki said on Wednesday.
This will raise the total number of National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) members to 25 million, up from the current 16.5 million.
The objective is to reduce cost of medical care and achieve universal healthcare.
The government further intends to rollout the mass enrolment scheme to cover 46 million people by 2022.
Ms Kariuki said the target was in line with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four Agenda of providing Kenyans with universal healthcare by 2022.
“As part of the drive to enroll more Kenyans for the universal healthcare, we are targeting an increase in NHIF enrolment to 25 million Kenyans in the next 12 months,” she said after delivering a keynote address at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) Annual Science and Health (Kash) conference.
“We will work on access to commodities, facilities, and regulating the cost of services to avoid risk to Kenyans’ financial status within the scheme so that they do not suffer economic deprivation as a result,” she said.
This year’s conference themed "Health Research for Sustainable Development" will see presentations by 450 participants with over 146 papers from research institutions and academicians being presented over a three-day period.
The forum is also a parallel regional training for senior editors and science writers from Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya on solution journalism by ScienceAfrica from Kenya and the US-based Solution Journalism Network.