The covid-19 pandemic continues posing a danger to frontline health workers and government workers after NHIF failed to renew their life, medical, and last-expense insurance covers.
The scheme contract that caters for the National Police Service and civil servants expired at the end of March. However, NHIF hasn’t renewed their insurance to date.
This news comes despite President Kenyatta directing on April 16, that frontline health workers must receive the best care, including their health insurance.
The Head of State said such an initiative would give nurses, doctors, and the entire medical fraternity the morale to work diligently in curbing the covid-19 pandemic.
Currently, over 670 frontline health workers have been infected with the covid-19 pandemic. Synonymously, the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) has ordered NHIF to abide by the procurement law and source for a new cover provider.
In a letter penned to Peter Gathege, the NHIF boss, the quality and research manager for PPRA Peter Ndung’u stated that despite the medical cover being advertized now, the beneficiaries would remain exposed until a letter is issued.
The delay in getting a provider of insurance for nurses, doctors, and other frontline health workers and government employees who perish due to covid-19 or any other disease will most likely get compensation.
Typically, NHIF provides Last Expense Cover and Group Life Cover to a third party after tender procurement.
Period of contract
While section 139 (2) of the Act advises on extending contract periods, the procurement law doesn’t cater for extending an expired contract.
On the other hand, section 44 (1) of the Act says a public entity accounting officer holds the mandate to ensure that all public bodies adhere to the Act.
Previously, Ukur Yattani, the Treasury Cabinet Secretary, had stopped NHIF from involving commercial insurance because it’s not part of the Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA).
Following the Treasury CS decision, NHIFs CEO announced that the insurance for all government workers would expire in March 2020.