Kenya: NHIF on the Spot Over 'Fake' Dependants

14 November 2019

The National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) is once again on the spot over fictitious claims.

Many members of the health scheme claim that fake dependants were added in their records. They allege that false in-patient claims were made by the agency. Some patients have also protested against the agency for revealing information about their health status.

DEDUCTED SH80,000

Mr Collins Okuku - NHIF member number 3252621 told Nation how Sh80,000 was deducted from his card for a patient he does not know.

"The patient is not one of my dependents and I don't understand how my card was used to cover the patient," Mr Okuku said.

According to his NHIF data summary report, Ms Ambasa Bakari used his card without his knowledge.

Last month, Mr Okuku wrote to the NHIF Kisumu branch over the "fake dependant."

The letter seen by Nation dated October 15, 2019 was received at the NHIF offices the following day but Mr Okuku says he is yet to get a response.

"... I therefore appeal for your urgent intervention to stop this illegal practice and the mastermind of this brought to book," read Mr Okuku's letter in part.

FOUR NAMES

Mr Victor Kojo, an advocate of the High Court also explained how the state corporation added a 'fake' dependant to his documents at NHIF.

"A fake dependant was added to my NHIF records. I was compelled to swear an affidavit on the matter, NHIF should come clean on this matter," Mr Kojo told Nation on Wednesday.

A relative of 81-year-old Leliet Sialo (now deceased) also told Nation how four names of dependants were added to Sialo's records.

On Wednesday, NHIF board chairperson Hannah Muriithi referred Nation to acting CEO Nicodemus Odongo over the matter.

"I have directed our Ag CEO Mr Odongo to call you on these complaints," Ms Muriithi said.

When contacted, Mr Odongo who said he was holed up in a meeting and promised to comment later.

Mr Okuku said that after raising complaints with the state corporation, an official who identified himself as a Mr Rotich threatened him.

ARRESTED

"On several occasions, the said Rotich has been calling me with offers to drop my case. He has even used police officers from Nairobi to intimidate me. On three occasions, I was arrested and taken to Central Police Station Kisumu and released. I reported about the threats vide OB 30/16/10/19," Mr Okuku said.

NHIF has been on the spot since last year over multibillion scandals.

Detectives have been investigating a possible loss of Sh50 billion at NHIF among others. Suspended chief executive Geoffrey Mwangi and finance director Wilbert Kurgat are facing charges in court.

The money was paid in premiums to NHIF by the National Treasury as capitation for group life cover and last expense for civil servants, the Kenya Police Service, National Youth Service and Kenya Prisons Service.

The investigations are focusing on reports that NHIF management and hospitals would generate false medical bills for civil servants, police, NYS and prison staff who had never sought treatment.

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