The government plans to utilize Artificial Intelligence (AI) to prevent any instances of corruption involving staff at the soon-to-be rolled-out Social Health Insurance Fund (SHIF).
The incorporation of AI into the new health fund aligns with President William Ruto’s administration’s initiative to eradicate corruption within the nation’s healthcare infrastructure, which has persistently plagued it.
The new healthcare fund, SHIF, will replace the current National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) and aims to deliver fair and affordable healthcare to all Kenyans, irrespective of their employment status or income level.
Dr. Elizabeth Wangia, Head of Health Financing at the State Department for Medical Services, emphasized on Monday that the implementation of AI will revolutionize the country’s healthcare system.
“SHIF will undergo extensive digitization because, with a robust digital infrastructure in place, we can swiftly detect any irregularities within the system using AI,” stated Dr. Wangia during the Global Digest program, airing every Monday from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm, co-hosted by this writer, seasoned journalist Laban Wanambisi, and journalist Irene Mwangi.
The SHIF constitutes a crucial component of an integrated healthcare framework alongside the Digital Health Act, the Primary Healthcare Act, and the Facility Improvement Financing Act.
The soon-to-be-discontinued NHIF, operational in Kenya for nearly six decades, has been marred by a litany of corruption issues including fictitious claims, embezzlement, fraud related to premium revenue, and collusion with medical facilities.
The new fund, SHIF, is a cornerstone of President Ruto’s national healthcare agenda aimed at enhancing quality and accessibility.
Despite encountering legal obstacles during its initial introduction stage, the Court of Appeal lifted the High Court’s suspension order on January 19, 2024, allowing for its advancement.