By Dennis Omwange.
Governor Charity Ngilu hosted a delegation from the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) led by the CEO Dr. Peter Kamunyo to firm up discussions about putting over 132,000 households under NHIF cover.
H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta extended support for 32,000 indigent households at a cost of Kshs. 191,000,000/=. The County Government of Kitui seeks to cover 100,000 households.
This UHC programme will allow Kitui residents to access healthcare in both public and private facilities within and outside Kitui County including referral hospitals.
Out of pocket expenditure for healthcare has driven many families into abject poverty. This UHC programme will cushion families against the burden of disease.
Governor Charity Ngilu is hosting the delegation ahead of the June 2021 mass registration and roll out of the program. Every Kitui household is eligible for this NHIF cover. Kshs. 300 million has been earmarked in the County Fiscal Strategic Plan for the FY 2020/2021.
The meeting also sought to streamline NHIF reimbursements to Kitui County Health facilities especially public hospitals to facilitate smooth service delivery to wananchi. The meeting came up with proposals that will seek to remove administrative bottlenecks in the processing and reimbursement of claims.
Dr. Kamunyo lauded the commitment of the County leadership under Hon. Ngilu for guaranteeing that the residents have access to quality and affordable healthcare services. He commended the Governor for making the bold step in supporting residents in her county, adding that UHC will allow anyone to go to any hospital and get treated without digging deep into their pockets.
Both sides agreed that the County Government will enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) where NHIF will administer the funds of the UHC programme and jointly identify and register the households.
The programme is expected to be rolled out from July 2021.
UHC is one of the Big 4 Agenda programmes by His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta and a flagship programme of Governor Ngilu’s Manifesto.
With this partnership, Kitui County will have increased healthcare coverage by an additional 40% from the current 28% coverage to bring it to 68% thus making Kitui County the largest UHC provider in the country.
The realization of UHC in Kitui County is a major milestone in Governor Charity Ngilu’s dream of providing affordable healthcare for all.