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NHIF urged to digitalize operations to curb fraud

The  National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) has been asked to digitalize its operation in order to curb fraud especially those perpetuated by rogue private hospitals.

The  Murang’a county women representative, Sabina Chege has said failure of use of biometric technology in admitting patients has created loopholes for some hospitals to extort money from NHIF.

Chege  said by digitizing its operations, the medical scheme will only pay genuine claims and lock out rogue hospitals which have been minting money through dubious claims.

“Patients who are members of NHIF and have received treatment from any hospital need to have their biometric details captured, so as to ensure only genuine claims are paid.

The women representative cautioned hospitals against commercialization of health services, saying this would alienate the poor who cannot access exorbitant medical costs, especially from private facilities.

“Private and public hospitals as well as insurance companies should avoid commercializing health services as the trend may deny majority of sick people opportunity to get treatment,” noted Chege.

Speaking  during a free medical camp held at Kiriaini Mission Hospital through her foundation in conjunction with Kenyatta National Hospital on Friday, the county women representative said the parliamentary committee on heath will push for changes at NHIF to ensure effective operations.

“NHIF is supposed to support specifically the poor but some hospitals are inflating charges even for minor cases making the national health scheme to incur huge expenses,” added Chege.

Chege, who is also the chairperson of the health committee observed that revitalization of NHIF operations will assist in implementation of the government’s agenda on provision of universal health care.

On the recent recommendations proposed by the NHIF board, Chege said her committee is still working on them to ensure that changes made will not subject Kenyans to more suffering.

The  MP further appealed to Kenyans claiming to have been defrauded by any medical facility to make formal complaint to her committee, through the national assembly clerk and also present their petition to the national medical board.

“Claims we hear about some hospitals will remain just hearsay since we have not received any formal complaint and once we get one, we as the parliamentary committee on health, will do our investigations without any form of biases,” she added.

In recent past for instance, some people have been complaining about Nairobi Women’s hospital over inflated medial charges.

Meanwhile, Chege said the government is committed in rolling out universal health care in all counties, saying in the current supplementary budget, a whopping Sh.21 billion was added to health sector to support employment of community health workers.

She asked governors to work in collaboration with national government so as to ensure universal health care becomes a reality.

By  Bernard  Munyao

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