The cost of free health care for all Kenyans: assessing the financial sustainability of contributory and non-contributory financing mechanisms

by Vincent Okungu, Jane Chuma and Di McIntyre
Int J Equity Health. 2017; 16: 39 – Published online 2017 Feb 27

13 pp. 1.2 MB

The need to provide quality and equitable health services and protect populations from impoverishing health care costs has pushed universal health coverage (UHC) to the top of global health policy agenda. In many developing countries where the majority of the population works in the informal sector, there are critical debates over the best financing mechanisms to progress towards UHC. In Kenya, government health policy has prioritized contributory financing strategy (social health insurance) as the main financing mechanism for UHC. However, there are currently no studies that have assessed the cost of either social health insurance (SHI) as the contributory approach or an alternative financing mechanism involving non-contributory (general tax funding) approaches to UHC in Kenya. The aim of this study was to critically assess the financial requirements of both contributory and non-contributory mechanisms to financing UHC in Kenya in the context of large informal sector populations.

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