UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE

Bomet residents want answers on failed NHIF plan

They say they have been turned away at health facilities due to failure by county to pay for their NHIF cards

In Summary

• Group faults county for silence about Sh87 million set aside for programme.

• They want the county to provide a full report on status of the programme.

NHIF logo
NHIF logo

The county government of Bomet has been asked to explain how Sh87 million raised for the Universal Health Care programme five months ago has been spent.

Part of the money is the Sh60 million set aside by the county to cover 10,000 families under the programme. The rest was raised in February in Silibwet during the Bomet county Universal Health Care half-marathon.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and DP William Ruto contributed Sh5 million. Five legislators contributed Sh2 million each from the NGCDF kitty.

The event, which was organised by Governor Joyce Laboso, was meant to raise funds towards the NHIF fees for needy families in the county.

Efforts to reach Social Services executive Bernard Ng’eno and Health executive Joseph Sitonik to explain the status of the programme were unsuccessful as they did not answer our calls.

The Bomet UHC programme is part of Jubilee’s partnership with the NHIF. It was set to pay Sh6,000 for each household annually.

The first 10,000 families to benefit from the Sh60 million set aside by county from its kitty were selected on the basis of poverty and vulnerability. The proceeds from the marathon were expected to fund another set of households.

But a group of beneficiaries on Sunday raised concerns over what they said is continued silence by the relevant departments from the county over the matter.

Addressing the press in the Bomet town, the more than 20 members forming the vulnerable group said they have on many occasions been turned away at health facilities because of the failure by the county to pay for their NHIF contribution.

Resident Philip Soi said beneficiaries have been subjected to unnecessary anguish while seeking treatment in health facilities.

“Some of those who had been paying for themselves for NHIF cover stopped after the county promised to take it up. They are now in a big problem. They are yet to pay for over five months now and whenever they go to a hospital they are forced to pay out of pocket,” Soi said.

The group wants the county to provide a full report and the status of the programme.

The comprehensive medical cover is aimed at assisting the needy access treatment. Those suffering from cancer would access chemotherapy in any referral hospital.

Laboso said the programme is important as it will enable the needy access treatment without the need to sell their land, properties or call for harambees.

Social services and health departments will jointly manage the programme at the county.