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Kenya's private hospitals reject NHIF cover

By Mwangi Muraguri | August 6th 2015 at 23:52:28 GMT +0300

Coast region private hospitals accredited to the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) medical scheme have rejected the annual Sh1,200 per person provided under the outpatient scheme.

At the same time, the hospitals called on the Government to revise the offer to Sh6,000 per year and include a mandatory Sh200 co-pay fee to be paid by every member visiting any accredited hospital.

In a press statement, the managers of the 19 accredited hospitals under the auspices of the Kenya National Association of Private Hospitals (KAPH) said the new offer of Sh100 per person per month for the national outpatient scheme was unrealistic and unsustainable.

"We hereby reject the Sh100 per person per month offer as it is neither practical nor sustainable,” said KAPH Coast Region Chairman Wallace Njenga.

He added: "We are asking the Government to scale up the offer to Sh500 per person per month. We are also asking for the introduction of a Sh200 co-pay fee that will be paid by any patient visiting any accredited facility.”

Dr Njenga said while the hospitals backed the national health scheme, the monthly fee offer per person could not sustain patients with illnesses such as kidney or cancer.

Sustainable rates

"How is a hospital supposed to offer consultation and treatment such as dialysis at Sh100? That is neither practicable or sustainable. It is either they pay us sustainable rates or refund the money they’ve collected from the contributors and forget the scheme,” said Njenga who is also the chief executive officer of Swiss Cottage Hospital in Kilifi.

Njenga also claimed that none of the hospitals had received the money to execute the scheme despite the Government’s promise that the scheme was to be operational from July 1.

He said KAPH had submitted the list of grievances to regional NHIF offices but had been turned down, with the fund officers in the region claiming they were powerless to address the grievances.

"Where does one undergo X rays, dialysis and consultation at Sh100 per month?” said Njiiri Muracia of Pwani Medical Centre.

Dr Muracia said the introduction of a Sh200 co-pay fee will help weed out contributors who may want to misuse the scheme.

KAPH Treasurer Benjamin Wafula said the scheme stood to fail if the Government failed to address the raised grievances.

"We support the national healthcare scheme and that is why we are calling for negotiations with the Government to ensure the scheme takes off,” said KAPH Secretary General Nurein Mohamed.

The hospitals are drawn from the six counties of the Coast region. In May, the private hospitals disowned a list of hospitals that had been published by NHIF as service providers.

The hospitals said they had not struck any agreement with NHIF.

NHIF medical scheme Kenya National Association of Private Hospitals (KAPH) Swiss Cottage Hospital
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