Who will save NHIF?

Tokeo la picha la nhif scandalWhat, exactly, ails the Kenyan health-care system?

The vast majority of people in Kenya are dependent on the public health care system. With an average monthly net income 6,498 shillings ($76) and an unemployment rate of over 7.4%, according to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics’ 2015/2016 Labour Force Basic Report. This means that most people in Kenya simply can’t afford the luxury of private treatment.

However, our health care system is no longer about relieving the suffering of patients… It’s about making money.Picha inayohusiana

The NHIF is now about making money: for pharmaceutical companies, device manufacturers, hospitals, insurance companies, and increasingly, for doctors. And all of these players are gaming the system and hurting patients in the process.

The online think tank has found the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) as the worst performed with health care costing bankrupt patients and choking small businesses.

The National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) has been hailed with false medical claims that are believed to have cost the State corporation more than Ksh 50 billion according to investigators.

Considered by many as the cruellest graft so far encountered, it is alleged that some rogue NHIF officials colluded with hospitals to generate false medical bills for workers who had never sought treatment and when investigations were launched to look into the matter, piles of documents related to premiums from special medical schemes worth Sh12.7 billion annually were found by detectives.

Investigations from the office of the director of criminal investigations further revealed that there was a cartel of managers at the NHIF which had colluded with hospitals to generate false medical bills for civil servants, police, NYS and prison staff who had never sought treatment. The cartel would later machinate to change documents to indicate that patients had been treated at hospitals different from what they had declared and registered, without their knowledge, and later file claims that are then shared between them.Tokeo la picha la corruption

“Corruption” is not a term most Kenyans would probably apply to what goes on inside Kenya’s health care. But if corruption is defined as persons or institutions wielding power for their own gain, then our health care system is riddled with it. And it is not only costing us billions of shillings, but it is also harming untold numbers of patients.







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