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NHIF boss: All bills waived for medics admitted in government hospitals for Covid

Health & Science - By Jael Mboga | December 11th 2020 at 10:18:06 GMT +0300
National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) CEO Peter Kamunyo before the National Assembly Health Committee on November 25, 2020 on challenges health workers are facing in service delivery during the Covid-19 pandemic. [David Njaaga,Standard]

All healthcare workers admitted in government hospitals for Covid will have their bills waived, the NHIF boss has said.

Speaking on KTN News on Thursday night, CEO Peter Kamunyo said the decision was made after a meeting with Health CS Mutahi Kagwe.

The move is also meant to ensure frontline workers have access to health insurance.

"In terms of offering support, we are continuously working with the Ministry of Health to ensure that we are able to cover our frontline workers," Kamunyo said.

Questioned on whether the universal health cover encompasses all, Kamunyo said all civil servants in counties continue to enjoy the cover.

Covid 19 Time Series

 

So far, 18 counties are active seeing as other counties had joined but opted to go for other private insurance covers.

The statement on medics' access to insurance comes at a time when Kenyans are grappling with the effect of health workers in public health facilities being on strike.

Part of their grievances is the lack of insurance.

As it stands, not all healthcare workers have access to comprehensive medical cover including those working in counties and for public institutions as lecturers.

Healthcare workers in the rest of the counties, it emerged during the meeting called by National Assembly Health Committee, were not covered since the Sh500 million budgeted had not been released.

“The money came towards the end of the 2019/2020 financial year and was returned to the National Treasury since there was no framework on how it would be utilised,” said Health CAS Rashid Aman.

One of the 15-point resolutions of the National Assembly Health Committee, which was adopted by Parliament on December 1, directed the Ministry of Health and National Treasury to release the money.

The report also insisted that healthcare workers should be provided with group life cover considering the risk of death if they contract Covid-19.

“The group life cover for civil servants has excluded doctors in parastatals (level six hospitals), and university,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Kenya National Union of Nurses (Knun) Secretary-General Seth Panyako said 23,000 nurses started the industrial action and will only resume duty after their demands are met.

Panyako said they will not suspend the strike like the doctors because the government has not shown any commitment to address their plight.

He also told the State to compensate families of the 26 nurses who have died of Covid-19.

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