• The NHIF management should not relent.
• Taxpayer money shouldn't be donated to private hospitals and doctors out to fleece the sick.
Private hospitals, driven by profit more than the care of the sick and the ailing, have, as is to be expected, jumped the gun.
The Kenya Association of Private Hospitals has brazenly announced its members will not treat sick people carrying the National Hospital Insurance Fund cards starting Tuesday.
They have jumped the gun because the talks that should lead to an amicable resolution on reasonable rates proposed by NHIF for select procedures – which they oppose — have not been exhausted.
For instance, NHIF proposed Sh40,000 as the total cost (including doctors’ fee) for the surgical removal of an appendix.
But the private hospitals believe anything between Sh60,000-Sh120,000 is what should make them happy.
Is it any wonder that thousands of sick Kenyans troop to India each year in search of affordable medical care?
Regrettably, private hospitals are the greatest beneficiaries of the very NHIF they now shamelessly threaten and by extension the sick.
Out of the Sh37 billion paid to hospitals by the NHIF in 2019, private hospitals pocketed Sh22 billion.
Public hospitals got only Sh7 billion, while faith-based hospitals got Sh8 billion.
It is obvious a large number of private hospitals would be dead if NHIF switched off their oxygen.
The NHIF management should not relent. Taxpayer money should not be donated to private hospitals and doctors out to fleece the sick.