NHIF spends Sh65m on drug abuse treatment

The National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) spent Sh65.3 million in the last financial year for the rehabilitation of 685 drug and substance abuse patients.

This is down from the Sh115 million that the State insurer paid out for the treatment of 1,634 patients in the previous financial year.

The NHIF drug rehabilitation package caters for treatment of admitted beneficiaries who suffer from the chronic use of drugs, including alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, heroin, mandrax and cocaine. According to the 2017 National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) Rapid Situation Assessment survey on drugs and substance abuse, alcohol abuse contributes the highest burden of substance use disorders in the country.

Low utilisation

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Patients requiring rehabilitation are referred to the treatment centres by other hospitals, psychiatric doctors, churches police department and the judiciary.  

The rehabilitation cover includes a three-stage treatment programme that includes detoxification, rehabilitation and aftercare arrangements.

NHIF Benefits and Contracting Manager Gilbert Osoro said the package, which has been in operation for the last five years, has seen low utilisation due to the small number of accredited facilities for drug rehabilitation in the country.

“There is a need to increase the number of rehabilitation centres countrywide to cater for the increased number of patients suffering from drugs and substance abuse in the country,” said Mr Osoro.

 The NHIF scheme caters for rehabilitation treatment through a package based mode of payment which was enacted in 2011 following ratification and approval by the board.

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A rate payable at Sh30,000 was stipulated per member seeking rehabilitation services at accredited healthcare providers per year.

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National Hospital Insurance FundDrug AbuseDrug rehabilitationNHIF