New NHIF regulations retrogressive, says COTU

Patients waiting at the Moi hospital in Voi./COURTESY

Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) has called on the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) to immediately withdraw circular meant for new changes in the fund.

The organization’s Deputy Secretary General, Benson Okwaro, condemned NHIF saying the new changes will negatively affect Mwananchi.

“In COTU’s view these changes are punitive, retrogressive, and irresponsible and are done by people who want to suffocate the smooth running of NHIF, and frustrate workers,” Okwaro said

“COTU demands that NHIF withdraws such circular immediately and engages all social partners on the issues raised,” he said.

The new changes limit the number of dependents, per card to a minimum of one spouse and five children; specialized services to six months waiting period; demands defaulters to pay penalties up to one year and need upfront payment of contributions to access services.

Upon new registration one will wait up to three months to start getting services and six months for maternal services.

“We have already written to the NHIF CEO seeking urgent meeting with top management and board to clarify these issues,” Okwaro said.

He pointed out that the push will thwart the governments bid in realizing the universal health care in the country.