Teachers now want funds meant for their medical scheme be tripled from the current Sh5.6 billion to Sh17 billion per year.
Arguing that the current allocation is not adequate, the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) is instead demanding for Sh17 billion for the 312,060 teachers across the county to support the medical scheme.
"It beats logic why over 300,000 teachers on the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) payroll should be allocated only Sh5.6 billion for healthcare while 80,000 police officers are given a whooping Sh5.3 billion for the same," a report by Knut set to be debated at the 61st annual delegates conference set to start on Wednesday in Nairobi says.
The report, authored by Knut Secretary-General Wilson Sossion, states that "the delivery of quality healthcare largely depends on the (amount of money that has been) allocated. Knut had projected an allocation of Sh17 billion annually so as to facilitate TSC at least to negotiate for quality and comprehensive healthcare package with insurance brokers."
The union now wants the National Treasury to revise allocations of medical funds upwards to enable teachers receive quality healthcare.
"We also call on TSC to continue pushing the Treasury to allocate more funds for the medical scheme. More so the Commission should establish a full-fledged division to manage the teacher medical scheme," the report adds.
Knut also wants the National Treasury to be wiring the medical funds promptly to TSC for onward transmission to the insurance brokers, to avoid embarrassing scenes where teachers are turned away by healthcare providers because of non-payment of medical fees for services rendered.
In the report, Knut says all teachers on TSC's payroll are duly covered under the Minet medical scheme, now in its fourth year.
It says there are 276,707 teachers with dependants, of whom 173,892 are spouses and 500,998 are minors, bringing the grand total to 983,363 of direct beneficiaries of the teachers' medical scheme.
"At least 90 percent of the teachers have dependants, with the rest being single teachers and those without dependants on the medical scheme. Children constitute over 50 percent of the population that it covered by the scheme," the report says.
It goes on: "Since the scheme came into effect, there have been over 136,964 inpatient admissions with 4,376 outpatient visits per day."
It says that the scheme has saved lives by evacuating patients and accident victims using ambulances as well as facilitating overseas treatment.