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Kibaki orders speedy probe into NHIF scam

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 19 – President Mwai Kibaki has ordered for a speedy conclusion of a probe into the scandal surrounding the Civil Servants Medical Scheme, promising that punitive action would be taken on those found to have ‘participated in any acts that may have compromised the health of the Kenyan people’.

While alluding to the on-going investigations launched at the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF), the head of state said the matter should be quickly resolved.

“I will therefore be expecting an expeditious completion in the ongoing investigations on the Civil Service medical scheme. Civil servants like other taxpaying Kenyans deserve a functional, efficient and cost effective health scheme,” the President said.

He warned that the Government would not tolerate persons who plan to undermine efforts aimed at availing quality health services to Kenyans through corruption.

The health of Kenyans, President Kibaki emphasized ‘must never be compromised because of greed and through schemes meant to put money in pockets of people who have no capacity to deliver health services’.

A probe was launched on the NHIF after Prime Minister Raila Odinga suspended the Fund’s Board and Chief Executive Officer more than a week ago, when questions arose over non-existent clinics receiving funds under the Civil Servants Medical Scheme.

A key provision under the scheme that was launched in January this year is unlimited inpatient and outpatient cover in accredited hospitals, which was earmarked at an initial annual cost of Sh4.2 billion.

The President was speaking when he opened the Catholic Diocese of Isiolo Matercare Referral Hospital on Saturday, constructed at a cost of Sh96 million.

He said that the Constitution and the country’s development blueprint, Vision 2030, emphasized the priority that the Government has placed on the health sector.

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“Indeed, every Kenyan has the right to the highest attainable standard of health, which includes the right to quality reproductive healthcare services,” Kibaki added.

The President further highlighted the Government’s commitment to strengthening the country’s healthcare sector particularly, maternal and child health care, as outlined in the Millennium Development Goals.

He pointed out that some of the measures the Government has taken to boost the health sector are increasing financial allocations, expanding and rehabilitating health facilities, improving supply of quality medical products and streamlining the management of the financial resources.

“We will continue implementing these measures. In doing so however, we must firmly deal with unscrupulous persons who may want to take advantage of the initiatives we are taking,” he said.



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