A study of health insurance policy in Kenya as a means of attaining the right to highest attainable standard of health
Wabwire, Fiona A. Nabatanzi
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The right to highest attainable standard of health is a universal right that is owed to all people and that is necessary for the achievement of other human rights. The Constitution of Kenya under article 43(1)(a) recognizes this right and as such it guarantees it for the people of Kenya. This right can be actualized through health insurance policies, amongst others, and therefore this research provides an analysis of health insurance policy as a means of attaining the right. Teachers in Kenya are the demography that this research focuses on. This is because they are the only group in formal employment that compulsorily pays for two health insurance policies, contrary to the law, yet they are only covered under one of them. In addition, the insurance policy that is applicable has a lot of challenges that come with it thus becoming a hinderance for teachers to attain their right to highest attainable standard of health. In order to show that there is need to have efficient enforcement measures with respect to rights, in addition to having the right itself, this paper discusses what the right to highest attainable standard of health is and how insurance is a means of achieving it. The study is based on the human rights theory under both international and national laws which provide the extent to which this right should be enforced. A comparison is also drawn between Kenya and Canada; and Kenya and Australia, in order to provide a practical outlook on the shortfalls of the implementation of this right. The comparison sheds light on ways in which enforcement may be effected in order to ensure that the right to highest attainable standard of health for teachers, through health insurance policy, is met. It also provides guidelines on how to deal with the problems that arise from health insurance policies. It is from this comparison and the analysis of the human rights theory that it is evident that the right to highest attainable standard of health for teachers in Kenya, through health insurance, has not been achieved.