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Should NHIF be overhauled?

NHIF, like many government corporations, is marred with a lot of corruption and double standards.

With the new policies, it now seems that it is not for ‘Wanjiku’. Rates have gone up, and upon entry, one is supposed to make a one-year subscription in advance, and worse still wait for six months before being able to use its services.

The new rules and policies introduced by NHIF are brutal and unfair to the majority of Kenyans. Not much has been done to fight corruption at the institution.

NHIF collects over Sh.45 billion every year, and Sh.7 billion goes to administrative costs. If this money is put into good use, it will outdo the private medical insurance companies.

This institution is always making headlines for the wrong reasons. The CEO, Mr Nic Odongo, was a guest to the Public Investments Committee of Parliament and was at pain to explain why private hospitals continue to receive higher amounts of money in comparison to government and mission hospitals.

Cases of corruption and frauds have been reported, and this is the reason there is a public outcry about the new policy changes. The story of one Fredrick Onyancha, an administrator at NHIF, who would take a chopper to work to avoid traffic is still fresh in our minds. He amassed a lot of wealth from 2013 to 2017 until his neighbours and inner circles began to raise eyebrows.

It is time the government ensured that public money is utilized transparently. The giant corporation should be accountable to the government and the public as a whole.

Statement of accounts should be presented to the public, and any misappropriation should be dealt with mercilessly. NHIF which to a few insiders is a cash cow should bear in mind that the money they are misappropriating is meant to cater for sick people.

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