, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 14 – The National Hospital Insurance Fund board in partnership with county governments has rolled out a comprehensive service delivery system by increasing the number of service outlets across the country.
NHIF board chairman Mohamud Ali says the partnership will transform the access to affordable healthcare for all Kenyans, to enhance the fund’s mandate to provide universal healthcare.
“Already we have about 98 service points across the country; we have opened service points especially in the northern part of the country to address the historical inaccessibility issues. We are indeed very impressed by the huge turnout at NHIF counters at all the Huduma Centers,” he said.
“NHIF is committed to nurturing the government’s vision to provide universal health coverage to all Kenyans. We must therefore aggressively engage those employed in the informal sector to take up insurance in line with the Constitution and Vision 2030.”
Speaking at a meeting with members of the Editors Guild, Ali voiced the challenges the Fund faces on minimal premiums received despite the expanded mandate to cover both in and outpatient services.
He says with that, the Fund found it necessary to review the rates from as low of Sh150 to a maximum of Sh1,700 for those who earn Sh100,000 or more so as to offer enhanced benefits including outpatient services to members.
“We are indeed in the process of consulting more stakeholders so that by the time the enhanced benefits are rolled out all parties will be in agreement. It’s our commitment to revamp and re-energize NHIF to deliver on its mandate of efficient delivery of quality healthcare insurance to all its members.”
“The government is part of this commitment of transforming NHIF into an efficient corporation in order to deliver on the mandate of ensuring every Kenyan has access to quality healthcare.”
NHIF has since widely consulted stakeholders such as Council of Governors, COTU and County Public Services boards in order to build an all inclusive and responsive NHIF.
The CEO, Simeon ole Kirgotty, said at the inception, the Fund provided bed coverage for only civil servants who were about 40,000. “The membership now stands at 4.6 million members with over 51,000 employers. The informal sector has a membership of 1.5 million.”
He said that under the scheme for the disciplined service, members are entitled to medical attention at any hospital during an emergency situation. The members can later be transferred to other designated health facilities based on their job group.
He highlighted a case for a police constable who was admitted to hospital with gunshot wounds where a total bill of Sh17,447,466.00 was paid by NHIF.
“NHIF was contracted by the government to manage the civil servants scheme. The scheme covers the following: outpatient care, inpatient care, maternity services, optical package, dental package, overseas treatment, group life and last expense,” he said.