Saturday, July 2, 2022

All private hospitals in Kenya to stop accepting NHIF card

Private hospitals in Kenya will from Monday, January 31, stop accepting the NHIF card. This means that Kenyans who use the card to access hospital services will not be served in private hospitals using the NHIF card, and will have to pay in cash for health services. Kenya Association of Private Hospitals (KAPH).

According to the KAPH secretary general Timothy Olweny, this decision has been reached as a form of protest to the  NHIF’s treatment of private hospitals when it comes to claims settlement.

This decision also follows the NHIF’s decision to slash the amount of money it pays out for certain services. For instance, the NHIF recently slashed the money it pays for dialysis sessions. In a previous structure, NHIF would pay Sh. 9,500 for each dialysis session. Dialysis patients require at least two sessions a week. In the new structure, the NHIF has said that it will pay Sh. 6,500 per session. Private hospitals have protested this move and said that they stand to lose at least Sh. 6,000 per patient per week.

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“Come Monday, January 31, which marks the end of our seven-month extension of contract with NHIF, we, the private hospitals, won’t be in a position to offer services to patients depending on NHIF,” Olweny said. He added that some of the services, whose costs have been significantly slashed, include surgical services and dialysis.

“They reduced surgical package charges by as much as 50 per cent. That can’t be justified,” he said. Olweny said private hospitals charge between Sh. 60,000 and Sh. 120,000 for the surgical removal of tonsils from a child. “However, NHIF remits a maximum of Sh. 32,000 to private hospitals for the service. That’s way below the amount of money that the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Council recommends,” he said.

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