EDITORIAL: Act on NHIF rot, plunder


NHIF building in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

The pending loss of lucrative National Police and Prisons Department medical cover tender by the National Hospital Insurance Fund should worry Kenyans.

The latest setback is yet another vote of no confidence in the cash-strapped public insurer and a pointer to systemic bottlenecks that have refused to go.

The fund is also bogged down by high administrative costs and the past pilferage of billions of shillings as well as recent fears that a fresh scandal could be in the offing.

These developments call for drastic reforms at the NHIF if the government is at all serious about making the Universal Health Coverage plans, one of the key planks in the Big Four agenda, a reality.

The action by two public institutions to dump the NHIF for private service providers is the red flag for the government to go back to the drawing board and come up with a master plan that will restore the confidence of taxpayers and contributors in NHIF and put to a stop the shenanigans at the insurer.

The government should push for reforms at NHIF to enhance transparency and service delivery that are critical for confidence building.