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SHIELDING THE VULNERABLE

Nyong'o launches Sh67m health cover for 45,000 families

Marwa (Ours) Kisumu Solidarity Health Insurance Scheme targets 90,000 beneficiaries.

In Summary
  • Beneficiaries will access inpatient and outpatient care under the NHIF SupaCover package at 45 public health facilities across seven subcounties.
  • Scheme’s funds will be ring-fenced to ensure timely capitation and reimbursements in order not to inconvenience beneficiaries at their hour of need.
Kisumu Governor Anyang' Nyong'o presents a dummy cheque to NHIF chief executive Peter Kamunyo at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital on Friday, October 16, 2020.
Kisumu Governor Anyang' Nyong'o presents a dummy cheque to NHIF chief executive Peter Kamunyo at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital on Friday, October 16, 2020.
Image: MAURICE ALAL

The Kisumu government has launched a health insurance scheme for vulnerable families.

 

Marwa (Ours) Kisumu Solidarity Health Insurance Scheme targets 90,000 beneficiaries.

Governor Anyang' Nyong'o on Friday presented a cheque for Sh67 .5 million to the National Hospital Insurance Fund, which will run the scheme.

He said the money will cover some 45,000 vulnerable beneficiaries in the first phase of the scheme. Nyong'o spoke at the unveiling of the scheme’s logo.

"The second group will follow thereafter. The issuance of the cheque follows a memorandum of understanding the county government signed with NHIF in August 2020," he said.

The county boss said financing healthcare remains very expensive and torturous as hospital bills have left many families poorer.

He praised FarmAcess for offering technical and material support towards the insurance scheme.

 
 

He said his administration has invested resources in healthcare to ensure the county enjoys functional provision.

"We are not only committed to providing our people with accessible healthcare but also ensure access to quality, affordable and timely healthcare provision for all as outlined in my manifesto," he said.

The governor said the vision has been anchored in the Kisumu County Health Act, 2019. Through the scheme, Nyong'o said, the indigent population in the county will be provided with medical insurance in fulfilment of their constitutional right to access healthcare.

He added, "It will also ease their burden of direct cash spending on healthcare services which are quite expensive rendering them vulnerable and with no options."

During the registration for the UHC pilot, in partnership with FarmAcess, the county carried out a survey to determine vulnerable families. Some 90,000 indigents were identified.

"It is this number we are working with for the Marwa Medical Scheme. We shall begin with 45,000 in the first phase and later roll out the remaining 45,000 come the second phase," Nyong'o said.

He also commended NHIF CEO Peter Kamunyo for expediting the scheme process and its launch. The scheme, Nyong'o said, does not replace but is complementary to the Universal Health Coverage programme objective of ensuring that there is sustainability and quality healthcare provision to all Kenyans.

Beneficiaries will access inpatient and outpatient care under the NHIF SupaCover package at 45 public health facilities across seven subcounties.

The scheme’s funds will be ring-fenced to ensure timely capitation and reimbursements in order not to inconvenience the beneficiaries at their hour of need.

The county chief said the Covid -19 pandemic has taught them many lessons. "Through our experience, we have learnt how fast households can be eroded of their capacities to meet their daily needs and more importantly, access to quality health services," Nypng'o said.

He said the county has moved swiftly to actualise the new insurance model to cushion the vulnerable through the post-Covid household economic recovery programme.

Nyong'o said his administration is focusing on a more holistic approach to ensure fewer hospital visits by continually strengthening primary healthcare.

"We want our people to adopt preventive mechanisms to reduce the number of times they visit need to visit health facilities," the governor said.

He said they have ensured that community health workers are well resourced and trained.

The county is also strengthening interdepartmental collaborations within the county to spearhead the process of ensuring that citizens have access to clean, accessible, and affordable portable water.

Nyong'o said they are committed to ensuring the county remains food secure by strengthening household economies and providing the necessary governance structures at the local level for easy implementation of health-conscious policies.

Kamunyo congratulated Nyong’o for committing to support the vulnerable, saying it will steer the county towards achieving universal health coverage.

He said ongoing reforms at the fund will eliminate bottlenecks.

“The team will work hard to ensure that members have access to quality accessible care and at the same time remain transparent and accountable to the people of Kenya”.

He commended Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital for leading the public facilities in terms of NHIF reimbursements.

Edited by Josephine M. Mayuya