Millions of Kenyans who rely on the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) cover can breathe a sigh of relief after private hospitals agreed to extend their services.
The agreement, which will run until March 31, 2022 was struck after a temporary deal between the Kenya Association of Private Hospitals (KPHA), the NHIF and Ministry of Health.
Speaking after a meeting on Monday, Health CAS Dr Mercy Mwangangi said the two parties agreed that no service will be affected negatively.
“People should not be worried. We are coming up with ways in which payment will be done,” she said.
KPHA chair Abdi Mohammed, said the parties would come up with a plan that would benefit both parties.
“Both NHIF and private hospitals have to be sustainable. We will continue with the old contracts as we start the conversation of the new contracts,’ he said.
Last week the private hospitals had threatened to bar all patients depending on the NHIF cover from accessing services beginning Monday after KAPH said there were no talks on the renewal of their already ended agreement with the NHIF, and also what it termed unfavorable rates.
“Come Monday, January 31, which marks the end of our seven-month extension of the contract with NHIF, we, the private hospitals, won’t be in a position to offer services to patients depending on NHIF,” (KAPH) Secretary General Timothy Olweny said on Friday.
“There has been no stakeholder engagement on the proposed rates. So unfortunately we cannot give services under those rates,” KAPH chairman Dr Abdi Mohamed said.
After expiry of the contract in June last year, NHIF and private hospitals extended services by another seven months, which comes to an end on January 31, 2022.
NHIF Chairman Lewis Nguyai said contracts between the insurer and other providers would be signed after March and effected from July 1, 2022.