The Health Cabinet Secretary (CS) Susan Nakhumicha has revealed that the government is too broke to remit money to the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF).
Patients who rely on NHIF for the hospital bills are now forced to pay cash as hospitals are declining offering treatment with NHIF.
Speaking at a local radio station, Nakhumicha said the situation in the country was so bad that the national insurer was still struggling with money.
“Kenya is broke and that is the fact that no one can deny at all. The cash crisis has even affected NHIF and that is the whole truth. We are working on all available interventions to see how we will address the situation. One of the best solutions we are thinking about is the introduction of the Finance Bill 2023. That’s why our President is so passionate about it,” she said.
“I want to assure Kenyans that we sat down with the President this week and informed him about the necessity of the health sector in the country. I told him that he should prioritize the matter and look for funds to pay NHIF. He agreed,” she added.
Advising the situation, the CS said adopting the Finance Bill 2023 would solve the problem.
“We are in talks with Treasury to see how this money will be released. Talks are at an advanced stage and very soon things will be better,”
“We have gazetted Kenya Advisory Council that will seek to advise how to deal with health workers in the counties and the national government. In the next two weeks President Ruto will inaugurate members of the Kenya Human Resource Advisory Council,” she said.
Most of the private hospitals have already withdrawn NHIF and are now asking patients to either pay cash or seek services elsewhere.
“We took the oath to attend to the patients. It is our duty to do this, but the situation is not good at all. We have been unable to pay salaries for close to three months now and no one seems to listen to us,” Chairman Rural Private Hospitals Association (RUPHA) Brian Lishenga said.
Lishenga added that no money had been remitted to RUPHA despite numerous letters of assurance from the NHIF board.
“Please be advised that all your capitation beneficiaries, those in the villages and small towns who pay Ksh500 faithfully every month have depleted their credit limits with hospitals. Hospitals have offered them ‘credit services’ for 60 days since 31st March,” RUPHA said.
Currently, close to 80 per cent of Kenyans depend on the national insurer to pay for their health services.