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MCAs urged to pass facility improvement fund bill

Health Principal Secretary (PS) Susan Mochache has challenged Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) in Kisii County to pass the FIF bill that will ensure funds from NHIF are channeled directly to health facilities.

Currently, some of the counties such as Kisii receive NHIF funds through the County Revenue Fund Account and the money is usually not refunded back to the health facilities.

Speaking during the launch of the NHIF biometric registration exercise at Getembe Dispensary on the outskirts of Kisii town, Mochache said the bill will also ensure that medical equipment supplies are available in hospitals.

“When money is released from NHIF to a clinic in Nyacheki, the funds are sent to the facility and they will be able to purchase the medical supplies as needed,” she said.

The PS also noted the registration exercise will ensure that when poor families visit health facilities, they have access to health services at no cost.

“The biometric process will assist in easy identification of individuals through the help of fingerprints because the previous use of NHIF card promoted fraudulent activities within the fund,” Mochache said.

She encouraged the residents to seek medical services in public health facilities where the cost of treatment is affordable.

The NHIF Chief Executive Officer Dr. Peter Kamunyo said the biometric registration is part of the government’s Big 4 Agenda of ensuring there is access to healthcare for all without financial hardship.

“We want to make sure that indigents, that is those who cannot afford the necessities of life including health care have their data captured so that when they visit the hospitals, they are attended to quickly,” Kamunyo said.

He pointed out that in April 2021, Kisii County launched the Electronic Claims Management System (E-Claim) and to date, all Level 4 and Level 5 hospitals have access to the platform.

Kisii County Governor James Ongwae said that more than 63,000 vulnerable households in Kisii County are set to benefit from free NHIF cover as part of the government’s quest to achieve universal health coverage (UHC).

Ongwae said the registration exercise will be done in two phases and both the national and county governments will contribute equally towards the budget of 380 million set aside towards the health fund.

“With NHIF, you would essentially come to our public health facility and this particular fund will pay for everything,” Ongwae said.

By Mercy Osongo and Augustine Mosioma

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