NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 30 – Members of the public are set to benefit from a surgical benefits package, introduced by the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) that will cover minor, major and specialised surgeries.
The initiative which is expected to ease the financial burden on Kenyans, will provide a maximum cover of Sh500,000 for specialised surgeries, Sh130,000 for major surgeries and Sh40,000 for minor surgeries.
NHIF Board Chairman Mohamud Ali stated that the surgical package which was not previously covered is the latest addition to procedures covered, after dialysis and cancer treatment.
“Our members from the day that these benefits will be gazetted will not be able to labour to look for the finances anymore. This will include major surgeries in Level 3 and 4 health care providers which will be covered to a maximum of Sh80,000 and in Level 5 and 6 healthcare facilities up to a maximum of Sh130,000,” he said.
He pointed out that the letter for gazettement is set to be sent to the Attorney General Tuesday and expects that the new rates will be immediately gazetted.
“Specialised surgery will be covered up to a maximum of Sh500,000. We are committed to unveiling more benefits more benefits to further meet the needs of the members and stakeholders in general. We never used to cover surgical operations, but this will now change,” he stated.
The surgical package is the latest addition to procedures covered after dialysis and cancer treatment following the increase of premiums payable by members by the national health insurer.”This package will deal with major, minor and specialised surgeries including cancer surgeries.”
He indicated that the package is value for money for more than two million NHIF members, whose monthly contribution rose by up to 1,000 percent with a thin range of benefits accruing to them.
In April, the NHIF gazetted new rates for procedures like cancer therapy, MRI diagnostic services and kidney dialysis which saw large private and mission hospitals agree to start offering these services.
The April rates were set after negotiations with the hospitals which had refused the initial rates arguing they were too low.
The hospitals are however yet to start offering outpatient services to NHIF members as they differ on the pricing.
Members remain confined to medical care from public hospitals and small private facilities that have agreed to the lower capitations.