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Kenyans Urged to Register for NHIF Cover

Kenyans have been urged to register for the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) medical cover so as to be able to access health care services with ease.

Speaking in Kajiado during the Community Engagement Open Day, NHIF Nairobi Regional Manager Ms. Mary Nyachae said that medical bills in Kenya are currently very expensive but with the NHIF cover, Kenyans can access medical services at convenient, affordable rates.

“We should all register for NHIF as through it, the government is committed to ensure that all its citizens’ access health care services in all hospitals that are NHIF accredited. Instead of organising harambees every now and then to seek funds to clear medical bills, NHIF will ensure that one can access health care services in an easy convenient way without bothering other people,” said Nyachae.

Nyachae remarked that NHIF covers outpatient and inpatient services, dialysis, renal, oncological services, all drugs and medications, maternity and various other services at an affordable fee of Sh 500 per month.

“NHIF has also improved its services as an organisation by automating identification of beneficiaries through the use of biometrics. Through a web based system, hospitals can now register beneficiaries thus one can also register as they visit the hospital,” added Nyachae.

NHIF Kajiado Branch Manager Mr. Peter Leitemu noted that there has been a decline in the number of people registering for NHIF cover in the county due to the recent drought which had many residents relocating to other areas in search of pasture and water thus the need for the sensitisation.

“We have a challenge in retaining the registered members due to the recent drought which ravaged their livelihoods and also relocated most members of the community. We are however urging them to keep paying the monthly fee of sh500 as it is much cheaper than having to sell a cow to access health care services when need arises,” said Leitemu.

Assistant County Secretary Ms. Naomi Parinkoi also urged Kajiado residents to register with NHIF and revealed that in addition to the 24,000 people already sponsored by the county for the Universal Health Cover, it is planning to support 1,167 more households in payment for the cover in the next financial year.

Yahe Abubakar, one of the registered NHIF members also urged residents to register with the healthcare cover, reiterating that it is affordable and reliable.

“I have really benefited from the NHIF Cover. I had kidney problems and the NHIF cover paid for shs 450,000 medical bill. My child also had heart problems and NHIF settled her shs 1.5 Million bill which I could not afford had I not registered with NHIF. I therefore urge all Kenyans to register,” said Abubakar

Another beneficiary, Mary Malit says that NHIF has helped her settle her medical bill of Sh 600,000 which accrued after she underwent stomach surgery.

“If I wasn’t registered with NHIF, clearing the bill could have been a huge challenge given that the cows which I depended on as my source of livelihood were ravaged by the recent drought,” said Malit

To create awareness on the services it offers, NHIF is currently undertaking Community Engagement Open Days Nationwide which entails rallying people to register for the health cover, addressing challenges faced by the beneficiaries and free medical camps as part of their Corporate Social Responsibilities.

The sensitisation programme took place in Kajiado town, Enkorika and Ilbissil town centers.

By Diana Meneto

 

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