Patients will now pay cash after 350 hospitals reject NHIF payments

A catastrophic scenario is developing in over 350 rural hospitals across Kenya, indicating an impending catastrophe in healthcare provision.

Due to a lack of granted funding, these critical medical facilities, which serve distant populations, have been forced to take severe measures, including rejecting National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) cards as of May 31.

As a result, those in need of medical treatment are now required to pay in cash.

The Rural Private Hospitals Association of Kenya (Rupha), which represents healthcare facilities in 43 counties, has raised grave concern about the NHIF’s frightening inability to remit a single coin for the April-June 2023 quarter.

The inability to obtain anticipated cash has put many institutions in a precarious position, with insufficient resources to satisfy their operational obligations, including paying healthcare personnel salaries.

The NHIF Board’s repeated pledges, made since April, that payments will be delivered have only added to the healthcare centers’ irritation and disappointment.

Despite these assurances, the finances of these hospitals remain unfunded, aggravating an already dire situation.

“As a result of the board’s failure to honour its financial commitments, the health facilities under the Rupha are left with no other recourse but to issue an immediate notice that beneficiaries of the NHIF Capitated Schemes will be required to make cash payments to access services, effective from May 31, 2023,” said Rupha chairman Brian Lishenga.

On May 25th, the Rural Private Hospitals Association of Kenya (Rupha) sent a notification to NHIF cardholders requesting outpatient treatments.

Individuals reliant on NHIF coverage were dealt a severe blow when the revelation showed that their credit limitations with hospitals had been completely drained.

As a result, patients will now be required to pay for their medical bills in cash.

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