Kenya: Tenwek Hospital Suspends Medical Services to Teachers Over Sh45 Million Bill

Tenwek Hospital has suspended medical services to teachers covered by AON Minet insurance company over Sh45 million bill.

Teachers seeking treatment were on Thursday turned away from the private referral hospital in Bomet County. The hospital insisted that they pay for medical services like other clients.

Ms Carolyne Tonui, a teacher, said she was referred to St Clare's Kaplong Hospital in Bomet County. Others were told to seek treatment at Litein AIC Hospital, the two facilities accepted patients covered by the insurer.

"Since I was not prepared for a trip to another place for treatment, I have decided to return home, I will travel to Litein tomorrow," said Ms Tonui.

Access medical services

Mr Malel Langat, the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) Bomet branch executive secretary called on the medical insurer to urgently address the matter to enable teachers to access medical services.

"Unfortunately, several teachers have come to us seeking intervention after being turned away from the hospital," said Mr Malel Langat.

Mr Shem Tangus stated in a letter dated April, 29, 2021 to MAKI limited (under the AON umbrella) that the bills had not been paid by the medical insurer for services offered in the last nine months.

"Following our efforts to resolve payment (row) for service provided to your clients, our efforts have been unsuccessful because of unresponsiveness of your team," stated Mr Tangus in the letter copied to Knut.

Mr Tangus said failure by the insurer to pay the capitation fees to the hospital had hampered operations and service delivery to other clients.

Ban lifted

"We are handling the matter administratively to ensure the services are not interrupted at the hospital," said a senior manager at AON who did not want to be quoted.

Teachers have been subjected to similar situations before. The hospital had previously suspended services to patients covered by AON. The ban was lifted in July 2019.

As a result, AON Minet General Manager John Kegode and assistant General Manager Denis Munene toured the South Rift region on January 22, 2019 to address the "operational issues" with four hospitals in the region -Siloam, Litein AIC, Tenwek and Kaplong.

Teachers had been forced to pay for medical services despite having an insurance cover.

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