How NHIF Fleeces The Poor To Serve The Rich

NHIF building, Nairobi

There’s a proposal by a team of experts that has been taken up by the Ministry of Health (MoH) to have National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) pay premiums for poor Kenyans.

The proposal says that only 35 per cent of Kenyans in the informal economy (poor people) are the ones that pay their Ksh500 monthly premiums consistently, the rest, over 65 per cent are struggling.

The reforms is touted to be under Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big 4 agenda in the Universal Health Care (UHC) segment.

Hannah Muriithi, NHIF Chairperson to the board

The only problem we have with this suggestion is that the Jubilee regime which seems intent on extending the stay of power past 2022 is not to be trusted with monies.

Ksh4 billion was stolen from the ministry’s coffers. The funds were meant for mothers, children and HIV/AIDS patients.


NHIF Untouchable: Corrupt Hannah Muriithi And The Board Stay On Amid Scandals

This new scheme might not fly given the history of Jubilooters.

A few days ago, lawmakers have accused State health insurer of collecting billions from the poor to fly the rich abroad for specialised treatment.

Nicodemus Odongo, Acting CEO NHIF

How then do we trust that the funds that the government will give towards the payment of premiums for poor people will not be used heavily to fly WAKUBWAS abroad for treatment?

The NHIF Board has even stayed on as scandals rock the agency. Ms. Hannah Muriithi escaped by sacrificing the CEO Geofrey Mwangi, but the realm corruption is perpetuated by the board.

Members of the National Assembly Health Committee alsp found out that NHIF has unofficial contracts with hospitals abroad, who in turn bloat the costs of treatment and the loot is shared by the board.

While they do this, the poor are left to struggle with unending fundraisers to meet their medical expenses.

Why can’t we build public hospitals, train doctors and nurses better and stop funding well-off Kenyans going abroad to waste out monies in high-end hospitals.

We don’t even respect the poor and elderly, who have now resigned to fate of death for failure to get treatment.

The situation is even worse locally, where we find private hospitals are the ones making money from NHIF.

Why would a government take money from Kenyans and give it to private individuals?

This neoliberal agenda where people are lied to to think that private entities are better for the public is a lie and must stop.

The Acting CEO of NHIF Nicodemus Odongo is Hannah Muriithi’s puppet. Having been appointed from NSSF. He has played into the schemes and whims of Hannah.

He is the frontface for a more corrupt board, he is the public image that the tribal board wants Kenyans to believe that they are not tribal and corrupt.

Damning Revelations

When he appeared before MPs, Nicodemus table documents that showed Private entities were making a killing from NHIF contributions.

The documents revealed that government and mission hospitals, which are generally accessed by a majority of Kenyans of low income, were receiving less than half of what private hospitals get annually.

For instance, in the 2018/2019 financial year, private hospitals received Sh22 billion from the insurer while government and mission received Sh7 billion and Sh8 billion respectively out of its Sh37.7 billion expenditure.

In the same period, NHIF spent 17.7 billion for specialised treatment which included flying some patients abroad for medical attention. The figure was higher than what it spent on inpatient and outpatient treatments that stood at Sh11.8 billion and Sh8 billion respectively.

Thanks to the question that was asked by one of the MPs.

NHIF is required to provide a list of all patients it has sponsored for treatment abroad and a breakdown of claims by private hospitals.

Let the fire begin.

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