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20,000 vulnerable families to start using NHIF scheme soon

The 20,000 listed vulnerable households in Murang’a County will start enjoying benefits of enhanced NHIF cover from January, 2023.

The beneficiaries are slated to access free out and inpatient services in public hospitals within the county.

On Sunday while launching the health scheme, Governor Kang’ata noted they have finalized putting in place structures and payment for the cover with NHIF.

He said from January 1, the 20, 000 families listed in the scheme dubbed Kang’ata care will not only get free medical treatment but also will be able to access optical and dental services.

The enhanced cover, funded at a tune of Sh. 170 million, is aimed to help the elderly, widows, orphans and persons with disabilities who are less fortunate in the county.

Kang’ata said the scheme will also cater for the last expense for principal member, spouse, children aged below 24 years and parents of the member.

“With the scheme, the selected families will be able to access free medical care, optical and dental services from our local hospitals. This programme is meant to uplift the lives of the poor in our community,” said Kanga’ata as he launched the scheme at Gakoigo grounds in Maragua.

He lauded the county assembly for passing the county health policy 2022-2027 saying this, has helped the executive to channel the needed funds to NHIF towards actualizing the scheme.

“Process of selecting the beneficiaries which was done in every polling station within the county has been finalized and those who sailed through will be informed through their phones.

“From December 26 NHIF cards will be issued to listed households. The team which was entrusted to conduct the selection of the families looked at the background of those who applied and came up with the most affected households,” he added.

Kang’ata said with availability of finances, they will be adding 10, 000 households in the scheme every financial year.

“If there will be enough resources and the county assembly supports the scheme, we will be including 10, 000 families in the programme every financial year,” he remarked.

In the meantime, Kang’ata relaunched the county Community Health Volunteer (CHV) programme.

The programme was established by former Governor Mwangi wa Iria where 1, 500 CHVs were engaged but Kang’ata temporarily halted it after it emerged the programme was not anchored in the county laws.

Kang’ata said all the 4,000 who applied will be included in the programme saying they will play a key role in promoting primary health care.

“The community health volunteers will help us first in implementing the enhanced health cover where they will be reporting progress of those listed in the programme. They will also be promoting primary health care at the grassroots,” he added.

NHIF Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Peter Kamunyu who was present lauded the scheme saying it is a better way of promoting health at grassroots.

Kamunyu noted managing sickness is expensive and thus the cover will go a long way in ensuring the poor get better health services.

“To effectively implement this enhanced health cover, I request the county administration to ensure local public hospitals are stocked with drugs among other necessities. This will prevent more costs accrued from private facilities,” he added.

By Bernard Munyao

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