County officials allay fears over Maternity Fees

National Health Insurance Fund building [Courtesy]

Residents will not pay the Sh5, 000 maternity fees proposed in the Finance Bill, 2018.

The county Finance Executive Nerry Achar said a lot of rumours were doing the rounds about the Bill, and that residents were already complaining about proposed levies.

Mr Achar said the fees would be catered for by the National Hospital Insurance (NHIF), which is mandatory under the Universal Health Care programme.

“The issue of the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) comes with a condition, that you must be registered with the NHIF. Once you are registered, it does not really matter the cost if the services are provided. The card takes care of everything,” said Achar.

Accepted in private

He said the card was not restricted to public hospitals but accepted in private hospitals as well.

Achar urged residents to respond and attend public meetings when called upon so that they don’t complain when decisions have been made by those who attend.

 “This Bill went through public participation, the assembly and was passed. The few people who show up make decisions on our behalf. The public was given the figures and they were okay with it,” added Achar.

Kisumu is among four counties piloting the Sh44.6 billion Jubilee administration's flagship UHC project, which seeks to make healthcare cheaper. With just the Sh500 a month, NHIF covers all primary health services.