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Renal society raises concern over NHIF dialysis package

Package will see a reduction for a dialysis session from Sh9,500 to Sh6,500.

In Summary

• The package will see a reduction of the current capitalization for a dialysis session from Sh9,500 to Sh6,500.

• Even though Kenya has witnessed a steady increase in the number of dialysis units to 210 by the end of 2020, experts are saying they are being overwhelmed.

A patient undergoes dialysis at the Makueni County Referral Hospital
A patient undergoes dialysis at the Makueni County Referral Hospital

The Renal Society of Kenya has raised its concern over the recent changes to the current NHIF Dialysis package.

The package will see a reduction of the current capitalization for a dialysis session from Sh9,500 to Sh6,500.

Even though Kenya has witnessed a steady increase in the number of dialysis units to 210 by the end of 2020, experts are saying they are being overwhelmed.

They claim that the move had no consultation with the patients, Kidney doctors, and dialysis service providers in the country.

“NHIF needs to embrace public participation and also involve stakeholders in this decision, as well as all the future changes and amendments they have committed to providing to their members,” the statement signed by the Founder President, John Gikonyo on Wednesday stated.

They urged NHIF to boost the transplant package from the current 500,000 to 800,000 and that NHIF cater for pre-transplant evaluations as well as the post-transplant medication.

“We urge the NHIF board to suspend the intended changes until proper consultation is sought and all the views have been accommodated,” Gikonyo said.

“However, we remain grateful for the current dialysis and transplant package and look forward to pursuing even better engagements that guarantee improved quality of life for our members and Universal Health Coverage (UHC) for the country."

Currently, NHIF members are entitled to three sessions of dialysis from two weekly sessions.

Kidney disease is projected to become the number five leading cause of premature deaths globally by the year 2040 according to a report published last year by Lancet on the Global Burden of Chronic Kidney Disease.

From 700 sessions a month in 2015 to over 500,000 sessions over the same period in 2020, all the 54 renal units countrywide have registered growing demand, with experts saying they are still overwhelmed and bearing most of the losses.

Edited by D Tarus

NHIF building./FILE
NHIF building./FILE