NHIF appoints new substantive CEO

Thursday, April 9th, 2020 17:05 |
National Hospital Insurance Fund headquarters on Ngong Road, Nairobi. Photo/PD/FILE

The National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) has a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) following the appointment of Peter Kamunyo Gathege on Thursday by the Board.

Kamunyo is a medical doctor with 21 years of work experience.

He takes over the leadership of the struggling State insurer on April 14 from Nicodemus Odongo who has been in acting capacity since November 2018.

Odongo, an economist, took over from Geoffrey Mwangi after the latter was kicked out following multiple allegations of abuse of office and other malpractices that saw the State parastatal lose billions of shillings.

The search of the NHIF CEO has lasted two years with the position having been controversially re-advertised in February this year by the Board despite a shortlist of three candidates.

This led to a fresh storm with activist Okiya Omutata threatening to move to court to challenge the board’s decision to re-advertise the position, arguing the move was a violation of the constitution.

A series of interviews had been done and the results forwarded to the former Health CS Sicily Kariuki for consideration.

Kamunyo is a healthcare executive with experience ranging from clinical practise and healthcare management; medical insurance, and the pharmaceutical industry. He also worked in the health care supply chain and strategic purchasing.

Until his appointment, he was the CEO of MedSource Group Limited where he has been working for close to three years.

A look at his professional profile, it reveals that Kamunyo has also participated in regional and global corporate governance. He is also a non-executive board member at the Kenya Healthcare Federation and the East Africa Healthcare federation.

He holds a Master of Science degree in public health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in London.

Prior to his master’s degree, he attained a Bachelor’s degree in Medicine and surgery and a post graduate diploma in Sexual Transmitted Infections and HIV Management, both from the University of Nairobi.

In March 5 2020, Omtatah wrote to NHIF Board Chair, Hannah Muriithi through the Kenyans for Justice and Development Trust, reminding her and Health Principal Secretary Susan Mochache that the National Assembly Health Committee had forwarded names of three successful candidates to then CS Kariuki for appointment of a substantive CEO of the Parastatal.

But on Thursday, the NHIF Board expressed confidence that the new appointee’s expertise and experience will enable him steer the Fund to achieving its core mandate of the implementation of the reforms in repositioning it as a strategic purchaser of healthcare benefits towards the delivery of universal health coverage.

“This based on the Certificate of Proficiency in Insurance he holds from the Kenya College of Insurance,” the Board stated.

The board stated that Kamunyo was appointed following a competitive recruitment process.

More on National