NAIROBI, Kenya, May 8 – The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) wants the Minister and Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Medical Services to resign over the multi-billion shilling National Hospital Insurance Fund scandal pending investigations.
KEPSA Chief Executive Officer Amit Thakker said on Tuesday that NHIF was directly under the Ministry of Medical Services and so both Anyang’ Nyong’o and Mary Ngare should step aside for a credible probe.
“I have heard various statements being made that we have technical people represented on the board. From the ministry we have the minister who says he wants to see reports before anything happens. From our side it is very clear, NHIF is at the best position for neutral investigations and nobody from the Ministry or from NHIF should scuttle these efforts,” Thakker said.
The NHIF has in the last few weeks been at the centre of a controversy over disbursement of funds for the Sh4.3 billion civil servants scheme to non-existent and ill- equipped health facilities.
This led to the suspension of the entire board and the Chief Executive Officer of the NHIF by Prime Minister Raila Odinga who also appointed a caretaker committee on Monday.
KEPSA said it supported the caretaker committee that will be chaired by Mutuma Mugambi, a former director of the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI).
“I am not sure whether the three months is going to be adequate for it but we will fully support,” Thakker said.
KEPSA Director Walter Ookok said the committee should be allowed to work independently to come up with a credible report.
“There is always a clamour in Kenya for those who should take responsibility to step aside. How many of those ministers have stepped aside and what have we achieved by them stepping aside unless we have a credible investigation team and system that has a free hand to go in there and issue a report that will be implemented?” he asked.
In the meantime, the government on Tuesday suspended implementation of the new NHIF rates for three months, as the caretaker team probes the scam.
Labour Minister John Munyes announced the move after a meeting with Central Organisation of Trade Unions Secretary General Francis Atwoli, Medical Services Minister Anyang’ Nyong’o, and Federation of Kenya Employers director Jackline Mugo at his NSSF building office.