President Uhuru Kenyatta has suspended implementation of the recently announced National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) regulations.
He said Tuesday that further consultations need to be done by stakeholders before any changes can be effected.
"Given my administration’s commitment to provide affordable health, I am today directing the Ministry of Health to immediately halt implementation of these proposals to allow for further consultations," he said in a speech.
The NHIF changes were met with criticism from a section of Kenyans including unions and politicians.
The Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) on Sunday expressed concern that the changes were likely to lock out over 10 million workers from the health cover scheme and discourage people from joining it.
Some of the contentious rules included requiring individuals who voluntarily join the scheme to wait for three months before accessing scheme benefits.
In the proposals, holders of the insurance would also be required to pay a year’s contribution, which is Sh6,000, in advance within the three months.
In the new rules, defaulters would be required to pay one off for one year and wait for three months before accessing medical services in preferred hospitals.