Civil servants have been urged to embrace digital technology in a move to facilitate access to health services through the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF).
Speaking during a sensitization forum for civil servants at Kalya Hotel in Kapenguria, Acting West Pokot NHIF Branch manager Ms. Abdia Ali said there were several digital platforms to aid members update their records for easier access to health services.
Ms. Abdi noted that members were spending a lot of time to move to offices for their records to be updated when there are online options to do so.
“Health issues do not wait and thanks to the digital technology. In this Covid-19 pandemic period we encourage members to use the readily available technology to update their records such as reviewing their outpatient facilities from wherever they are,” she urged.
She appealed to all civil servants whom she noted were better placed to sensitise other members of the wider public to embrace the technology and also be reviewing their records as recommended.
The branch manager asked civil servants to help in cascading information about the government health insurance cover to their friends and family members.
“Whenever a principal member passes on some leave their families without knowledge that there are last respect amount provided to the family. Let everyone update their next of kin every time so that the bereaved can claim the amount,” she explained.
Participants, among them civil servants and health service providers from the region, noted with concern over what they claimed was delays in updating outpatient facilities due to network issues.
They said some members were getting it hard to update their facilities since the systems always requested for the mobile number used in registering.
“In some remote areas members have no mobile phones especially the elderly and sometimes mobile phone networks are very poor,” lamented a health care provider from Kacheliba.
Kenya National Union of Civil Servants (KNUCS) First Deputy Secretary General Mr. Saoli Ole Kina allayed fears that it was the NHIF that was failing members only to apportion blame on some health service providers for twisting their clients up and down during their visits.
Ole Kina said no civil servant should be denied health services at their preferred outpatient facility since the government has already entered a contract with them irrespective of delay in remission, no hospital should turn away the patient.
He asked civil servants to embrace communication with NHIF in case there are any issues regarding the way health providers treat them.
“The employer has done their best to provide you with a comprehensive health insurance cover in accordance with the labour laws. Civil servants should therefore be given seamless treatment whenever they visit a health facility,” he said.
Participants asked NHIF to set aside a specific desk to attend to civil servants whenever they visit the office since they also have responsibilities to serve other Kenyans.
By Richard Muhambe