Health Minister Susan Nakhumicha has said that corruption in the health insurance (NHIF), which will be replaced by the Social Health Insurance (SHIF), has caused many Kenyans to lack treatment.
The minister said that the insurance is a leaky tool and it will be discarded and mentions a new program that will be developed through the authority of SHA as it will help Kenyans in treatment and improve health services in the country.
Speaking in Mwatate area during the launch of Cervical cancer awareness month, Ms Nakhumicha said that NHIF has been facing many challenges including corruption and fraud especially among the staff and health centers. He said that this situation has caused many Kenyans who pay for the insurance to miss the services they deserve.
“NHIF is like a vessel that you drain and it has holes so we cannot continue to use it. We threw it away and bought a new one,” she said.
The minister said that the decrease in the payment of the program from Sh500 to Sh300 will enable many Kenyans to be able to join the program.
“It will ensure that every Kenyan gets quality health services regardless of their income. This time, this plan must work,” said Mrs. Nakhumicha.
She said that the new program will have eligibility criteria that will consider the needs of all Kenyans including the unemployed, the elderly, the disabled, and children. “I have met many patients, especially those suffering from cancer. They say that when they visit health centers, they are told that their allocation is over and they are told to add more money so that they can receive treatment,” she said.
Ms. Nakhumicha urged Kenyans to join the program saying that it will have many benefits including reducing medical costs, increasing access to health services, and strengthening public health.
The minister said that the NHIF officers involved in corruption in the department have no chance to work for the new program. He said that the government will take strict action against all those involved in sabotaging NHIF.
“I am not afraid to say that I will not allow all the corrupt NHIF to join this SHA program. I will look for the good ones to work for Kenyans. If someone pays for his card if he wants treatment, he must get it,” she said.