, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 6 – The government now says that it has ascertained that medical facilities run by Clinix Healthcare and Meridian are operational contrary to previous claims.
A memo from the Director of Medical Services says the interim board carried out an analysis/inspection of 47 newly licensed Clinix and 62 existing ones belonging to both Clinix and Meridian facilities that were licensed this year.
“It was confirmed that they are actually on the ground and operational contrary to earlier reports by the parliamentary committee on health and the media,” the DMS Francis Kimani says.
He adds that the Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board licensed a total of 68 Clinix facilities for the year 2012 with details of location, date of registration and medical personnel in charge. It also registered a total of 13 Meridian facilities.
The two facilities have been at the centre of an investigation by the parliamentary committee on health whose report was tabled in Parliament on Tuesday.
The report recommends that the government ensures continuity of the medical scheme for civil servants and members of the disciplined forces.
The committee also wants the Controller and Auditor General to undertake an audit to ascertain if the beneficiaries are getting value for money on four aspects of the scheme that includes in-patient, out-patient, group life and last expense.
The committee recommended a probe by the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission into any irregular roles by the ministers for Medical Services and Public Service, the Registrar General, Director of Medical Services, NHIF CEO and members of the NHIF board.
The report is also seeking the establishment of appropriate structures to ensure that all members access healthcare services at any accredited facility in the country under the scheme.
NHIF will also be required to decentralise the services to all counties and put in place appropriate systems to ensure access to the services offered under the scheme.
Significantly, the committee has asked for capitation rate of Sh1,500 per member for public facilities to be reviewed to be equal to that of private providers.
Last month, the chairman of Clinix Jayesh Saini defend his company saying the tender that they were awarded for provision of healthcare was clean and that it has no ‘ghost’ clinics as claimed.
Saini said the contract was based on the number of patients to be served over a period of time and not on the number of clinics available.
“The expansion actually started way back last year. We had licensed about forty-five clinics between January and February. The misconception is that we were paid for clinics basically that do not exist,” he said at the time.
He described this method known as capitation as an efficient means of providing health services to Kenyans.
“Interestingly, the aspect of capitation that has been widely misunderstood is the fact that the amount of money paid to the service provider is not based on the number of clinics but the number of people,” he said.
He downplayed any claims of a scandal saying it is a method that is being used in many countries.
“I believe that this is the first step to attaining universal healthcare for Kenyans. I do not see any scandal in this particular process.
Capitation is a payment mechanism which is being used worldwide by many countries. It is not unique to Kenya. It is the best outpatient solution provider to make healthcare attainable and affordable,” he stated.
The facility has in the meantime written to the Speaker of the National Assembly protesting at the manner in which the parliamentary probe was conducted.
The company argues that committee members drew conclusions at the hearings before reviewing the evidence adduced and preparing a report.
The firm wants the Speaker to direct committees to conduct their inquiries in a thorough, fair and professional manner.