National health insurer’s enhanced offers are changing the way Kenya pays its hospital bills… never mind th

Source: The Daily Nation


17th April 2017

A raft of measures to turn around the fortunes of Kenya’s largest health insurance fund have given a ray of hope to hundreds of thousands of needy patients, but a biting lack of awareness is preventing thousands more from enjoying the low-hanging fruits.

From a struggling operation barely 10 years ago, the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) is now offering enhanced financial services, including treatment locally and abroad, an improved maternity cover, as well as full coverage of kidney dialysis and heart surgery costs.

For an organisation with a fairly dark past, and above which a dark, ominous cloud still hangs, the turnaround has not gone unnoticed to a lot of Kenyans.

Among these is Samuel Wanjala Wanyama, a 40-year-old boda boda rider in Nairobi who recently lost his wife to breast cancer. The love of his life, Judith Iminza, died last month after spending nearly 110 days in hospital. She left an outstanding bill of Sh638,544.

Although Wanyama has to find a way through his tough boda boda business to get the money to pay the bill at Kenyatta National Hospital, there is a silver lining in the dark cloud; he only has to pay Sh140,075 as the national insurer has promised to foot the remaining Sh498,469.

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