Four Unions in the healthcare sector have threatened to suspend service delivery in 90% of the hospitals across the Country unless the new 2022-2024 NHIF contracts are revoked.

The Kenya medical Practitioners union, The Kenya Medical Association (KMA), the Kenya pediatric association and the Rural Hospitals Association say they are gravely concerned by reports that NHIF has unilaterally issued contracts to some of their member facilities for summary execution, in certain instances within a 24-hour period.

The Union officials led by KMPDU Sec Gen Dr Davji Bhimji, KMA President Dr. Were Onyino and KPA Chairperson Dr Lawrence Owino have advised their members against signing any contracts issued to them by NHIF branch offices until such a time that the associations shall advise to the contrary.

“The NHIF benefit package development process was not inclusive, transparent, nor did it use explicit evidence-based criteria.There was no stakeholder involvement in the process of developing the benefit packages. There is lack of clarity regarding the benefits included in the package and therefore beneficiaries of the NHIF cover will not know for certain what is covered and what is excluded,” They said.

According to the Unions, the process of developing the contracts was unprocedural to the extent that meaningful engagement of healthcare providers did not and has not taken place to date, and their input was not sought and save for a few providers, they are not privy to the contents of the contracts currently being circulated for execution.

“The proposed benefit package has removed benefits that are currently being offered within the NHIF Supa Cover and are being enjoyed by millions of Kenyans within primary and secondary care services. For example, the removal of insurance cover for reproductive health services e.g. removal of retained placenta, repair of cervical tears, MVAs, among others will reverse the gains the country has made in tackling the high maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality cases,” They said.

By Fred Azelwa.