Mara — COMMUNITY Health Fund (CHF) has lost more than 3,700 members due to poor health service delivery in Bunda District, Mara Region, it has been revealed.
Reports say that members decided to ditch the fund after a shortage of medication in health facilities including dispensaries, health centres and the Designated District Hospital (DDH). Bunda District Medical Officer (DMO), Dr Raina Kapinga said recently that they have lost 25 per cent of members because of lack of medicines in the health facilities.
"Between 2004 to 2009 the district had 12,500 members and collected 24.6m/- whereby from 2010 to 2012 the number of the members has decreased to 8,705," he said.
"To check the situation, we asked the National Health Insurance Fund(NHIF) in 2009 to provide us with 12.6m/- from the money we collected but to no avail and due to lack of excellent service many members have stopped contributing," he said. The district has 3,075,000 residents while it has 44 dispensaries, 4 health centres and 1 designated district hospital.
At the same time, in three years time from 2007 to 2009 the district managed to collect more than 48m/- as the instant collection money from different health facilities. The money is mostly allocated for maintenance purposes and other minor facility needs.
Guta Dispensary is among the health facilities found in Bunda whereby it's Clinical Officer In-charge, Dr Lucy Charles complained about delays of maintenance budget for the facility after the instant collections. "We have asked several times for money to buy the medicine cabinets but we have not received the money or the cabinets," she said.
"In January this year we collected 36,000/- for CHF and that is the lowest collection recorded hitherto because of the shortage of drugs since last October," she noted. NHIF was established in 2001 with the basic objective of providing health insurance to civil servants.
Since then, the fund has increased coverage by extending its membership to private, informal and semi-formal sectors. In 2009, NHIF was mandated by the government to manage the Community Health Funds (CHF) which was initially managed by local authorities.
The main objective of being given this task was to bring about the growth of the fund in terms of coverage, number of members and quality of health services accessible to its beneficiaries.