, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 25 – The Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU) has asked the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) to base its deductions on workers’ basic pay instead of gross pay.
In a joint statement COTU Secretary-General Francis Atwoli and NHIF Chief Executive Geoffrey Mwangi, said the two bodies had agreed to begin discussions on the proposal.
“Both NHIF and COTU(K) have previously engaged in similar forums aimed at providing a platform for the worker as a key stakeholder in the realization of the mandate of NHIF. Both parties appreciate the strides made by NHIF in enhancing the benefits given to the members,” the statement said.
“They now enjoy a wider scope of cover, making healthcare affordable, equitable and accessible to all, while cushioning members from catastrophic expenditure on health care. COTU(K) also took note of the enhancement of the benefit package enabling the members,” it said.
Both parties further agreed to further deliberate on the same and on continuous consultation on emerging issues.
“NHIF and COTU(K) are calling upon the government to improve the quality of its health care facilities by improving the quality of services, diagnostic and medical equipment, health work force and improve the facilities infrastructure.”
Both parties agreed that NHIF will use the existing structures of COTU (K), its affiliates and other key stakeholders to share information and educate members on the benefit package and modalities of accessing the benefits.
“NHIF and COTU (K) agreed that timely submission of employee contributions by employers to NHIF is a key issue thus COTU (K) will aid NHIF in enforcing this. NHIF committed to regularly update its contracted Health Care Provider database and publish the list annually,” they said.
The meeting comes in the wake of revelations that a proposed amendment to the NHIF Act seeks to kick out COTU, teachers’ unions and the Federation of Kenya Employers from the NHIF board.
Other organisations whose directors will be sent packing from the NHIF board if the law is passed, are the Kenya Medical Association and faith-based organisations.