KMPDU blames insurance companies for high fees charged by doctors

January 26, 2019 3:33 pm
Secretary General Ouma Olunga says medical practitioners are yet to be paid about Sh700 million by insurance companies after services rendered/LEAH MUENI

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 26 – The Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist union (KMPDU) has blamed insurance companies for the high cost of fees charged by medical and dental practitioners.

The union says insurance companies take too long to pay medical practitioners after services are rendered.

Secretary General Ouma Olunga says medical practitioners are yet to be paid about Sh700 million by insurance companies after services rendered.

“It takes even a year sometimes two years for us to get the money, this should stop. KMPDU will endeavour to recover all third party payers all the money owed to doctors for services already rendered for which there is documentation and proof that the amount is due,” he said.

Olunga says it should not exceed 30 days from the date the services were rendered.

The union has also called for a review of medical insurance premiums downwards by 20 percent in line with reduction of doctors’ professional fees.

Olunga says the union supports President Uhuru Kenyatta‘s Universal Health Coverage by 2020.

“We are committed to a better healthcare in line with Universal Health Coverage, It can only be possible if more medical practitioners are employed and money set aside for drugs and equipment,” he said.

Earlier this month the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Board (KMPDB) said it is set to recommend new measures that will see fees charged by medical and dental practitioners reviewed downwards.

Board Chairperson Prof George Magoha told the press following an external stakeholders’ forum the measures aimed at revising the current fees that have been in effect since July 2016 will be forwarded to the Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki.

Magoha gave the assurance following a heated session during which the board was accused of abandon cheaper rates that had existed since 2006.

“Let’s have one goal of supporting President Uhuru Kenyatta achieve Universal Healthcare. My personal view is that I’d want government to empower private medical practitioners to contribute to the achievement of this goal,” he said.

According to Magoha, the board had resolved to stop further increases to the minimum and fees charges for various procedures in the yet to be drafted 2019 guidelines.

In a report released on November 15, last year, the National Assembly Health Committee had instructed the Health Cabinet Secretary to replace the prevailing fees with 2006 rates citing exorbitant prices.

The Sabina Chege-led committee had given KMPDB six months to come up with reasonable charges that would then replace the 2006 rates it had recommended be adopted in the interim.

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