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State insurer pays out Sh1bn for C-section deliveries

CS is one of the single largest benefits payments under the enhanced scheme. PHOTOS | FILE | NMG
A couple attend to their newly born baby: C-Section is one of the single largest benefits payments under the enhanced scheme. PHOTOS | FILE | NMG  

The National Hospital Insurance Fund’s (NHIF) payouts for Caesarean-section operations have for the first time crossed the Sh1 billion mark in a year, highlighting the cost burden of the procedure to insurers.

Official records show that 24,492 mothers opted for C-section — a surgical operation to help deliver a baby — in the first half of 2016, up from 22,411 in a similar period a year earlier, representing a nine per cent increase.

This saw the national health insurer pay Sh714.7 million in six months to the health facilities that performed the surgery, up from Sh432.1 million in a similar period the previous year.

C-sections accounted for 61 per cent of the NHIF’s maternity costs, and more than a third of the women covered by the fund opted for the operation, underlining how widespread its use has become in Kenya.

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