Ksh 5 Billion Printing Bill Haunts NHIF

  • National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) acting Chief Executive Officer Nicodemus Odongo speaking before the National Assembly Public Investments Committee on October 15, 2019.
    National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) acting Chief Executive Officer Nicodemus Odongo speaking before the National Assembly Public Investments Committee on October 15, 2019.
    Daily Nation
  • Troubles surrounding the National Health Insurance Fund multiply faster than the locusts can breed.

    The mammoth corporation has once again found itself the target of covert interrogation as the country wonders how it had whittled away Sh 6 billion in reserve funds.

    Rocked by the imminent prospect of collapse, the fund vowed to put in place measures to reduce their deficits and stay afloat.

    A photo showing National the Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) headquarters in Nairobi.
    National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) headquarters in Nairobi.
    Citizen Digital

    However, as a report by the Nation on February 20, 2020 claims, some of the fund’s current woes can be linked back to the Ksh 5 billion that the fund allegedly spent printing AfyaCare cards. 

    AfyaCare Cards were part of the package deal in the proposed Universal Health Coverage (UHC) championed  by President Kenyatta's under his faltering Big 4 Agenda.

    The President, with pomp befitting the occasion launched the AfyaCare cards on December 13, 2018.

    The cards, which were to be piloted in 4 counties, Kisumu, Nyeri, Isiolo and Machakos, were to allow Kenyans to access key health services.

    Siciliy Kariuki, Cabinet Secretary for Health lauded the President's decision to prioritise health.

    "Universal health coverage is essential in addressing our national challenges and will go a long way in achieving the core principle of the Vision 2030 Agenda; that is, the realization of a society where ‘no one is left behind’,” she stated.

    Barely a year after these lofty statements were made and the giant that was meant to support President Kenyatta's UHC is on its knees.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta delivering the New Year message on December 31, 2019.
    President Uhuru Kenyatta delivering the New Year message on December 31, 2019.
    Citizen Digital

    The fund has however denied the allegations that it's funds were drained in the President's project which, however, does not explain why the reserves the fund is meant to have are non-existent.

    Along with the 6 billion reserve funding that is missing from NHIF, the AfyaCare cards that were launched are also nowhere in sight. The four counties that were to pilot the cards are yet to receive them.

    Aside from the Ksh 6 billion question that has been directed at the fund, concerns have also abounded as to the sums it has spent on administrative costs with departments such as marketing accounting for 24% of its expenses.