18 November 2018

Kenya: Clinical Officers to Frustrate NHIF Services Over Accreditation Roadblocks

Nairobi — The Kenya Union of Clinical Officers (KUCO) has given the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) a 14-day ultimatum to reverse existing hindrances for the accreditation of clinical officers.

The union's Secretary General George Gibore said on Sunday clinical officers have been forced to seek approvals from medical officers before authorizing billing of NHIF-registered patients for medical procedures within their purview.

Gibore told the press all clinical officers will embark on demonstrations should the national health insurance agency fail to address their concerns.

"If I want to do any scan for any patient, I have to find a medical officer to give me their registration number yet they will not come to interpret the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan," he said.

"Within 14 days if NHIF fails to make a clear statement and recall all the forms they have provided that limit clinical officers, we will stop offering services to any patient that is NHIF-accredited in all facilities and we'll be campaign at the NHIF offices," Gibore warned.

Peterson Wachira, the union's chairperson faulted the NHIF for failing to accredit clinical officers terming regulations by the agency unlawful.

He decried what he described as efforts to undermine duly qualified clinical officers by individuals within the insurance agency hell-bent to milk resources allocated for healthcare provision.

"The NHIF has unilaterally decided to limit us to offer services to NHIF-accredited patients something that is contrary to any law. They have adopted a skewed accreditation system that keeps medical costs high," Wachira told the news conference.

According to KUCO, over 70 per cent of services provided in health centres are facilitated by clinical officers.

The union also expressed disapproval with the Ministry of Health saying clinical officers had been sidelined in the rollout of universal healthcare.

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