A section of Baringo County Assembly (MCAs) members have opposed calls to have the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) stopped from covering medical bills arising from Covid-19 related ailments.
Speaking at the assembly buildings in Kabarnet, the MCAs said that if the move is approved by the authorities it will greatly disadvantage many poverty stricken Kenyans who are facing a myriad of other economic challenges occasioned by the global pandemic.
Led by majority whip Reuben Chepsongol, the leaders challenged Health CS Mutahi Kagwe who made the remarks on Wednesday when he appeared at the Senate committee to rescind the decision which might be perceived as a policy statement and allow NHIF medical scheme cover such cases as Kenyans will be overwhelmed by medical bills if left on their own.
The CS had told the Senate committee that it was not financially viable for NHIF to cover the bills for Covid-19 because it would be expensive for the insurer.
Chepsongol said the country is facing a serious global pandemic that has really destabilized the usual normal operations, hence NHIF should come in handy to assist patients offset their medical bills.
“We want to hear that the government has also subsidized access to medical services in all our health facilities or even make it free,” said Chepsongol who is Bartabwa MCA.
His Kabarnet counterpart Earnest Kibet said that NHIF cover will relieve some of the people from paying large sum of money out of their pockets.
Kibet urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to look into the matter since majority of patients in need of critical care might not access treatment both in public hospitals leave alone the high cost the private facilities, which are beyond the reach of many.
The MCAs also requested the national government through the Ministry of Education to supplement efforts by parents in supplying face masks to school pupils.
By Benson Kelio/Joshua Kibet