n Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies - Level of public participation in social health insurance policy formulation in North Rift, Kenya

Volume 4, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 2141-6990
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In an effort to address the crises of health care financing, the Kenya Government has proposed the National Social Health Insurance Fund, where no payments are to be made by users at the point of being attended when ill but users will have to make regular prescribed mandatory contributions based on their incomes. However, it is unclear if these proposals are owned and have support of all key stakeholders since smooth implementation heavily depends on their participation at formulation hence their awareness, understanding and acceptance for implementation. The objective of the study, on which this paper is based, was to determine the level of participation of Kenyans in the formulation of the Social Health Insurance scheme. This study was a cross-sectional descriptive survey carried out in a sample of health facilities in the North Rift Valley region and at the Ministry of Health and National Hospital Insurance Fund headquarters. The respondents included patients/their visitors/caretakers (218), health facility staff (72), provincial administrators (15) and key informants (10). Data were collected using structured interview schedules and questionnaires with open and closed-ended questions. Purposive and stratified sampling methods were used to arrive at the facilities to be studied and a select key informants, systematic sampling helped arrive at the wards to be included at the national hospital, visitors interviewed at the gates were consecutively sampled while simple random sampling was used to get the patientsto be interviewed at the wards; giving a total of 313 respondents. Data collected was analyzed by use of frequencies, percentages, graphical comparisons and inferential statistics of one sample student's t-test for proportions. The findings revealed poor participation levels of below twenty percent (20%) of all categories of respondents. The formulation of this policy has had insufficient stakeholder participation among all respondents.It is recommended that the Ministry of Health should make deliberate efforts to enlist the participation of all stakeholders in formulation of the National Social Health Insurance Fund. The study informs further research on participation of the public in formulation of other public policies as it has been argued that absence of this has led to failure to have support from the public who are uninvolved at formulation. For other readers, this would serve as useful information in informing them as to the importance of stakeholder participation in formulation of any plans in which these stakeholders have a key role to play.

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