Residents of Machakos County who failed to register for free medical services under the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) programme are regretting the decision.
The Standard established that majority of residents are still enjoying free healthcare services in all public health facilities courtesy of the exercise that kicked off in December 2008.
Peter Musembi, a resident of Matuu in Yatta Sub-county, however, said he has not been able to access the medical services because he is not a UHC card holder.
"It is pure pain for those of us who were not registered because we are forced to dig deep into our pockets to access services in public health institutions. We are pleading with the government to facilitate the registration of those left out in the previous exercise,” said Musembi.
Then there are those who claim to have registered but their details were not captured in the State registry.
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"Many of us have been suffering because of errors that were made by those tasked with the membership drive. It is not our fault that our details were not secured at the point of registration,” said Susan Njeri.
But Health Executive Ancent Kituku yesterday told The Standard that there is still an opportunity for residents who want to sign up for the programme.
"We are aware that a large number of residents who did not sign up have been unable to access free services. Those who are not enrolled are advised to visit the nearest National Hospital Insurance Fund offices to be registered,” Kituku said.
He further revealed that nearly 1.2 million residents were covered under the programme, representing approximately 85 per cent of the county’s population.
County Assembly Health Committee chair Cosmus Ngula said ward representatives were happy with the rollout of UHC in public facilities.