Bid to have employers pay NHIF for their workers
Nairobi Metropolitan Services is proposing a new policy that will ensure all city employers pay National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) cover for their workers.
NMS Director of Health Dr Ouma Oluga argues that the move would help ensure that public hospitals are adequately funded.
Once the policy becomes law, individuals who are covered by NHIF will have to go to public hospitals as their first point of call unless there is a valid reason for one to go to a private hospital.
“There is no way the government will continue paying taxpayers money yet this money is going to the pockets of the few. The government is getting nothing from NHIF,” he said.
NHIF spends Sh14 billion annually where Sh11 billion goes to the private hospitals, Sh1 billion to faith-based and Sh2 billion to Kenyatta National Hospital.
Dr Oluga defended the policy, insisting that it will ensure people are registered on NHIF and at the same time money comes back to the government as well as help workers manage their insurance.
Money recouped from the premiums, according to NMS, will be used to support level Two and Three hospitals in Nairobi, which are currently offering free health services.
Data from NMS shows that 70,097 patients have sought medical services in only six of the newly constructed facilities between March and June.
“Health services at the hospitals are free but it is a cost to the government. The free services is not sustainable.
So we must work on the source of financing to make the whole system sustainable,” Oluga noted.