Politics and policy
Doctors fault NHIF scheme payments to private ghost hospitals
Posted Monday, May 7 2012 at 20:27
Among the stakeholders questioning the goings-on at the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) is the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union. David Herbling talked to treasurer Wambui Waithaka.
What is your association’s take on the NHIF Civil Servants’ scheme saga, especially the payment of monies to non-existent clinics?
Money has indeed been paid to establishments for facilities that simply do not exist or were being set up, using taxpayers money. Either way they had not been registered with the board.
We have cited Clinix and Meridian as major beneficiaries in this arrangement. The awards are questionable. On what basis were they accredited with no go-ahead from the Medical Board?
Unfortunately, after the matter was brought into focus, those involved have hastened to put up many of the said clinics.
An examination of registration documents, not application for registration, at the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board will reveal which of these clinics have been inspected and registered in the last few weeks after NHIF money had been spent.
How can the NHIF Civil Servants’ medical scheme be improved?
Transparency is the key here. Due process must be followed. Kenyans should not be forced into a scheme bearing many irregularities that raise more questions than answers.
The first step to regaining the trust in the scheme would be to suspend the CEO Richard Kerich to pave the way for investigations by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.
The scheme is targeting workers and for it to work, workers must feel part of it. Arm-twisting them may be justified in law but shall only be a stumbling block to its implementation.
The request for consultations should not be taken lightly.
The twin health ministries have the biggest network of health facilities in the country. Public hospitals are everywhere and have a better reach than private enterprises.
Unfortunately, these hospitals are run down, poorly equipped and neglected. They must be repackaged and positioned to serve Kenyans better through the NHIF scheme which will also provide them with the much-needed income for development.
What is your view on the increase in NHIF monthly contributions?