County hospitals on the spotlight over overcharging patients


Nairobi, KENYA:County hospitals have been put on the spotlight over overcharging patients holding insurance covers.

According to Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission, EACC audit report, patients across the country who use NHIF and other insurance medical covers as a mode of payment pay more as compared to patients who pay cash in seeking medical services.

The report which was commissioned by the commission’s CEO Halaque Waqo indicated that there is a huge variance in fees charged in various medical facilities depending on the mode of payment whereby NHIF patients tend to pay more than patients who pay cash seeking the same medical procedures in the same facility.

The report highlighted that large variances in prices are occasioned by the adoption of different means of payment for services offered which may lead to perceived inequality in the pricing of medicine and medical supplies.

The commission recommended that cabinet secretary in the ministry of health in conjunction with governors and National Hospital Insurance Fund to develop guidelines for fees to be charged on the various categories of patients.

The report also indicated that there is price variance on the price of medicine which is as a result of loading of different markups ranging from 10 to 30 percent on the price of medicine and medical supplies.

On her part, health cabinet secretary Sicily Kariuki said that her ministry through the pharmacy and poisons board, National Quality Control Laboratory, and Kenya Medical Supplies Authority will conduct rapid results initiative within 100 days to ascertain the quality of selected medical products and health technologies in the market.

“The RRI will target health products and technologies with high public health impact, and those that are widely used by the public.”CS Kariuki said