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Nurses assigned to the Infectious Diseases Unit (IDU) at the Kenyatta University Hospital dance during a Zumba class in the hospital compound in Nairobi

Capital Health

Govt has 21 days to remit Sh500mn for health workers’ insurance cover: parliament

NAIROBI, Kenya Dec 2 – The National Treasury and Ministry of Health have 21 days to remit Sh500 million to the National Hospital Insurance Fund Scheme for the provision of Group Life Insurance Cover for all COVID-19 frontline medical staff working in all Counties and the National Referral Hospitals.

This is after the National Assembly unanimously approved an amended version of the report by the House Health Committee for the funds provided for in the Supplementary Appropriation Act (No. 2) of 2020.

As a result of the adoption of the committee resolution, NHIF will also have 21 days to ensure that all medical staff in the counties and national referral hospitals are placed under the Group Life insurance Cover.

The resolution by the House has further compelled the Council of Governors to ensure that all the nineteen counties that have no medical cover for its health workers sign-up for the Comprehensive Medical Cover through the National Hospital Insurance Fund.

“The National Treasury and Council of Governors establishes a centralized pool of medical cover through the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) Comprehensive Medical Scheme for all county medical staff. The Scheme should be in place at the beginning of the Financial Year 2021/22 and that the Ministry of Health and Counties do make provisions of the same in their respective FY 2021/22 budgets,” the Committee Report on its Inquiry into the Utilization of the Funds Appropriated to the Ministry of Health in the Financial Year 2019/20 for the Control and Management of the COVID-19 Pandemic, with Focus on the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) noted.

The Cabinet in September approved an insurance cover that addresses only one of the key demands of health workers following protests.

The doctors’ union has threatened to mobilise a national strike from Monday next week unless their demands are met.

The Kenya Health Professionals Society, which consists of the Kenya National Union of Nurses, Kenya Union of Clinical Officers (KUCO), Kenya National Union of Laboratory Officers (KNUMLO), Kenya National Union of Pharmaceutical Technologists (KNUPT) and the Kenya Union of Nutritionists and Dieticians (KUNAD) have also demanded that an additional 10,000 health workers be employed.

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Ministry of Health and Governing Councils of University of Nairobi, Kenyatta University, Moi University and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology were also given 14 days to settle all Call Allowances owed to doctors as per the Collective Bargaining Agreement and the Return-To-Work Formula of March 14, 2017, signed between the Ministry of Health, Council of Governors and Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Union.

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