, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 25 – The Kenya Medical Association (KMA) now wants the National Hospital Insurance Fund caretaker board that was appointed three weeks ago reconstituted terming the current one inconsistent with legal provisions.
National Chairman Elly Opot on Friday raised concerns that the major players in the caretaker board comprised members of the dissolved NHIF board and therefore could not be trusted to carry out credible investigations.
He added that the current board as constituted could be challenged in a court of law.
“It’s not a reaction. This is a culmination of a process that has been going on. KMA tries to run in a very professional manner. We actually start with dialogue and we try to engage. I can tell you that as soon as the gazette notice was published, we talked to the Office of the President by writing a letter to the Head of Civil Service, we copied the same letter to the Permanent Secretaries Prime Ministers Office and Medical Services,” he said.
“So we didn’t just wake up one morning and said now we must go and give a Press Conference,” Opot said in response to a question on why it had taken too long for the association to raise its concerns.
He said that to avoid conflict of interest, the Permanent Secretaries who were members of the previous board should be replaced.
“Maybe the government acted in speed to stop the possible misappropriation of contributors’ funds but we feel that urgency should not be used to do the wrong thing,” he stated.
“We would like to see the NHIF Act being reviewed in order to conform to the Kenyan constitution 2010 and in order to improve the management of NHIF to be a properly run and regulated 21st century insurance provider,” the KMA boss said.
President Mwai Kibaki appointed a caretaker board for the NHIF three weeks ago to take over for three months following a Sh4.3billion civil servants health scheme scandal.
The board comprises various Permanent Secretaries and representatives from the Federation of Kenyan Employers (FKE), the Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU), the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT), and the Union of Kenya Civil Servants.
Others in the board are representatives from the Office of the President, the Office of the Prime Minister and Permanent Secretaries from the Ministries of State for Public Service, Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Labour.