By Standard Team
Questions have been raised over the manner the National Hospital Insurance Fund ( NHIF) is rolling out its medical scheme for civil servants.
A parliamentary committee is investigating how two "little known" private health providers were awarded the cover for over half of the members.
Only three months after the ambitious Sh 4.2 billion health cover, which also includes a cover for members of the disciplined forces was rolled out, the issue of transparency in the selection process has been brought to the limelight.
The NHIF board was on Wednesday grilled by Parliamentâs Health Committee over how Meridian and Clinix got the cover of more than half of the civil servants.
The Dr Robert Monda-led committee took the NHIF board to task, questioning how other more established health institutions, and especially public hospitals which have a broader network, lost to Meridian and Clinix.
The questions arose after the NHIF board disclosed that the two private health institutions were paid more than half of what the fund has released to health providers for the scheme in the first quarter of its rolling out.
NHIF Chief Executive Officer Richard Kerich told the committee that out of the Sh600 million paid to institutions accredited to offer the cover for the first three months of the year, 18 outlets operating under Meridian were paid Sh116 million while those operating under Clinix earned Sh202 million.
MPs demanded to know how the two institutions were given the cover. Dr Eseli Simiyu asked if the two had lobbied within the civil service to win the support, given that they do not have a wide network.
NHIF board chairman Prof Richard Muga defended the deal, saying the two institutions could have been at an advantage as they had been picked for a pilot programme before the scheme was rolled out.
Muga and Kerich said that the civil servants had been granted to choose the provider of their choice, denying claims that they had allocated the covers to health institutions.
- New clashes in Brazil's before football game
- Salva Kiir sacks top South Sudan officials
- Lawyer wants Chinedu to appear in court
- Maji marefu’s futile effort to find stolen property
- Diplomatic passports, special number plates for governors
- Can chickens really be cleverer than a toddler? Studies suggest animals can master numeracy and basic engineering