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Public Uproar Over NHIF failure to Cover COVID-19 Patients

The National Hospital Insurance Fund – covid-19

There has been a public uproar over the failure of the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) to cover covid-19 patients.

Director-General of Health, Dr. Patrick Amoth earlier today announced that NHIF would only cover civil servants, saying it’s not viable to cover everyone because it’s expensive.

“All public servants serving under the national government, including healthcare workers, are covered by NHIF. We have also had discussions with counties to come onboard under NHIF umbrella for insurance of county workers,” Dr. Patrick Amoth said.

According to Dr. Patrick Amoth, managing asymptomatic patient costs averagely 21K per day. Mild cases require an average of Ksh 21,369 per day, severe cases average cost Ksh 51,684 per day. While critical care (ICU) costs Ksh 71,283 per day. 65% of these costs are contributed by PPEs.

on 11th November, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe announced that Kenyans would have to foot the bills for Covid-19 in both public and private hospitals.

“The cost burden of financing Covid-19 testing and treatment for NHIF beneficiaries both in the National Scheme and the Enhanced Medical Schemes would not be financially viable since it was not envisaged in the current NHIF premiums computation and the existing benefits package,” Health CS Mutahi Kagwe said while adressing the Senate.

Kenyans have taken to social media to express their frustration over the matter, saying it’s bad enough that they get a raw deal with the current NHIF coverage and it’s worse now that the national health insurance cannot cover for covid-19 patients.

“Kenyans it’s time we talk,We are losing Health workers to covid-19, no protective gears for them, NHIF not catering for your covid-19 bills but surprisingly in a middle of crisis there is money for BBI. It’s time for these so called politicians know our lives matter and not BBI,” one concerned Kenyan, Chebet,  posed on twitter.

Most private Insurance service providers have also refrained from covering covid-19 patients.

Doctors issue a 21-day notice before they strike

The Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union(KMPDU) has issued a 21-day notice, moments after it announced losing 10 senior doctors this week to Covid-19.

The doctors have accused the government of faiure to provide PPEs consequently exposing them to injurious working conditions which exposed them to coronavirus vulnerability.

In a statement on Sunday, KMPDU officials said the pandemic has claimed 30 healthcare workers so far, the 10 doctors being the latest to succumb.

The practitioners demanded standard PPEs to all the healthcare workers, and comprehensive medical cover and workman’s compensation for all doctors.

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