Nyong’o to face censure over NHIF scandal

May 7, 2012 2:01 pm
Ikolomani MP Boni Khalwale has threatened a Censure Motion against Minister Nyong'o/ FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 7 – Ikolomani MP Boni Khalwale has vowed he will file a Motion of no-confidence against Medical Services Minister Anyang Nyong’o over the multi-billion shilling scandal at the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF).

Khalwale demanded that Prime Minister Raila Odinga intervene and prevail upon Nyong’o to resign over the Sh4 billion scandal or the minister faces censure in Parliament.

Khalwale, who chairs the Public Accounts Committee, said that he will, in consultation with the rest of the committee members seek a special audit into the controversial payments.

“Once that is done, I will rally MPs in moving a censure Motion against Nyong’o for failing to stop fraud within his docket. This will take two weeks after which the Motion of no-confidence will be filed,” he said.

The Public Accounts Committee is a parliamentary watchdog that tracks government spending.

Medical Services Assistant Minister Kambi Kazungu called on President Mwai Kibaki to order a freeze on the new NHIF rates to stop further misuse of public resources.

“I want to tell the president to give directions that the new tariffs should not be deducted unless we clear this mess. We must tell Kenyans where the Sh400 million is and it should be vomited out before we can tax poor Kenyans. What is the use of taxing more money, when the little (that is being taxed) goes to individuals’ pocket?” asked the assistant minister.

Kazungu vowed to expose the corruption in the ministry, regardless of his position on the frontbench.

“I am prepared even to be a backbencher, but I don’t want to be part of a corrupt cartel. The time has come for the guilty to be punished,” he said.

He faulted his boss, Nyong’o, saying Head of Civil Service Francis Kimemia had a right to intervene on NHIF affairs.

Kazungu said that there was a secret bid to pay a further Sh700 million to suspect clinics which must be stopped.

“Let me tell Kenyans, if it were not for the efforts of (Francis) Atwoli and the president, today they (NHIF) would have wired another Sh700 million… that’s why the board was reinstated,” Kazungu added.

The assistant minister added that some of the enlisted clinics do not even have the necessary personnel to deliver on the amount of capitation they have claimed.

Parliament’s Health Committee is questioning the NHIF’s choice of service providers and whether those accredited can offer the services needed.

Two private healthcare chains have signed up more than 40 percent of the 221,730 eligible civil servants.

The lawmakers are also planning a national tour of all accredited facilities to assess their capacity.

Also raising eyebrows is the NHIF’s decision to pay accredited hospitals and clinics in full even before they deliver their services.

More than Sh1.08 billion has already been sent out to 1,170 hospitals through capitation.

The House team pointed out that some service providers have begun ambitious expansion plans using the pre-payments instead of spending the funds on medical services for beneficiaries.

The Sh1.08 billion in advance payments, referred to as capitation, is supposed to benefit some 221,730 public servants for the first quarter beginning January 2012.

The parliamentary team has also concluded that Meridian Medical Centre was awarded Sh30 million for ghost facilities under the ambitious Sh4.2 billion healthcare scheme for civil servants, while Clinix Healthcare received Sh202 million compared to Kenyatta National Hospital that received only Sh1 million.


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