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Murang’a County, NHIF inks Sh170 million deal for special health cover

The County Government of Murang’a has inked a deal with National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) to provide enhanced health cover to more than 20, 000 households from poor backgrounds.

The cover targets the vulnerable from the county who will also access dental and optical services from the local NHIF registered health facilities.

Governor Irungu Kang’ata observed the enhanced medical cover will cost the county administration Sh. 170 million annually after the county assembly passes the health bill, which already has been tabled.

Speaking when signing a Memorandum of Understanding with NHIF, Kang’ata noted that the vulnerable in his county suffer when they seek medical care saying the special cover will be of great relief to residents with eye and dental complications.

“Normal NHIF cover does not cater for optical and dental services but we have negotiated with the NHIF in the special scheme to include the services to the beneficiaries of the special cover,” he noted.

The indigents, in the new scheme will be allowed to access medical cover to any of the NHIF registered facilities within the county.

Kang’ata said the money which will be paid to the NHIF will eventually go back to the county government as the beneficiaries will be treated by public and mission hospitals within Murang’a.

The beneficiaries will be selected and vetted by community leaders to ensure only those from poor families are included in the scheme.

The enhanced cover will also include last expense where Sh. 100, 000 will be paid for principal member, spouse or child and Sh. 50, 000 be paid in case of demise of the main parent or parent in-law.

According to Kang’ata, 30 households will be recruited in every polling station saying the recruitment criteria will be provided by the health policy which is before the county assembly

The health scheme dubbed Kang’ata-care, Kang’ata said will be launched by President Dr. William Ruto who is expected to tour Murang’a on Sunday.

Some of Murang’a residents have lauded the scheme saying it will go a long way to ensure the poor access medical care.

James Mungai said the scheme comes at the time when many people especially from poor backgrounds are suffering at homes for lack of money to cater for their medication.

Mungai also challenged the county administration to ensure public health facilities always have drugs, observing that lack of drugs has been a big challenge in accessing medical care from public hospitals.

On his part, Bernard Wanyoike requested the county government to provide drugs for diabetes and high blood pressure in all health facilities. Wanyoike said despite having an NHIF cover, he has been forced to buy insulin which is not covered in the scheme.

“Some of us have been battling non communicable diseases for many years but we are forced to buy drugs since NHIF does not factor them in the cover. We request the county government to ensure drugs for diabetes and high blood pressure are accessible for free in all public health centres,” pleaded Wanyoike.

By Bernard Munyao

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