NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 10 – The National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) now says it has inspected all health facilities before accrediting them to offer services under the new civil servants scheme.
NHIF Chief Executive Officer Richard Kerich told a news conference that NHIF does not dictate to its members which health facilities they should choose.
This follows allegations that the Fund has accredited some institutions to offer services yet they do not have physical facilities on the ground.
“There is no facility that has been accredited without a license. We are here to be told which specific facility that does not exist. And for those we have accredited, we can take you to where they are,” he asserted.
He discredited allegations made by the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) that NHIF has accredited non-existent and non-functional health facilities for use under the civil servants health scheme.
“Those accredited to the Fund are in existence, and they are giving services to our members,” he added.
Kerich stressed that all the health centres had been cleared by the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board (KMPDB).
The doctors’ union had alleged that two questionable facilities do not have a countrywide reach, remarks that Kerich vehemently dismissed terming them as driven by business rivalry.
“The person who comes with the allegations should tell us where they are coming from. The best way is to know the root cause. I cannot give you an answer for a problem that does not exist. I see that as business rivalry,” he charged.
He asked KMPDU to single out the health facilities that had been accredited and never met the set out criteria.
The doctors’ union mentioned Kapsabet, Webuye, Eldoret, Bureti, Iten, Kericho, Kabarnet, Kakamega, Mumias, Kimilili, Nyandarua, Mwea, Karatina, Busia, Bungoma, Maua, Narok, Kitui, Machakos, Kinamba, Nkubu, Embu, Muranga, Nyeri, Kiambu, Mpeketoni and Malindi as having ghost or non-functional clinics.
The concerns were also raised because the NHIF is using a capitation method to pay accredited hospitals for outpatient services but two outpatient facilities were cited among the questionable health facilities.
In an earlier interview Union of Kenya Civil Servants Secretary General Tom Odege said the scheme which became operational in January was prone to corruption due to the capitation method being used for outpatient care.
Odege said although the idea of providing medical insurance to civil servants was noble there were a number of concerns that must be addressed.
Despite the allegations and complains, Kerich said NHIF had not erred as it ensured the health centres accredited had licenses after clearance by the KMPDB.