An exposé: NHIF Medical Heist; A Racket in the Health Sector in Mt Kenya region

An exposé: NHIF Medical Heist; A Racket in the Health Sector in Mt Kenya region

Details have emerged of a major scandal that is ongoing unabated in the health sector in parts of the Mt Kenya region. According to credible sources, reputable politicians – Governors, MPs, and Senators, in collusion with corrupt NHIF-accredited hospitals, have devised a scheme to extract funds from the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) by promising free medical treatment to elderly citizens suffering from various ailments.

The scheme begins with announcements made in churches in villages, promising free medical clinics for the elderly. The senior citizens, eager to receive treatment and ease the burden on their families, are then transported to hospitals in Nairobi and surrounding areas.

In Murang’a County for example, an announcement was made in all Churches on Sunday that all elderly people with ailments would be treated for free in a free medical clinic courtesy of Governor Irungu Kang’ata and the local MCAs.

Upon arrival, the elderly were told that the medical examinations and any necessary surgeries would be covered by NHIF. Initially, they had been told that the medical camp would be in Mwea, Kirinyaga. However, upon being picked in two 14-seater matatus for their journey to the medical camp, they were told that the venue had been changed to Nairobi.

They were then taken to a hospital in Eastleigh called Truth Health Hospital. After some time, they were told that the hospital was overstretched. This necessitated some of them to be taken to St Peters Orthopedic Hospital in Muthiga, Kinoo, Kiambu County as the rest were left in the waiting room where they spent the night sleeping on the benches.

The following day, their personal details were taken as they proceeded to see the doctor. They were told not to worry as the medical examination was free and that any operation was going to be covered by NHIF. Interestingly, those who had NHIF cards were admitted while those without were treated as outpatients and taken home in one of the matatus after general examinations.

It has since been discovered that the surgeries suggested and conducted were major medical procedures, such as knee-replacement surgery, regardless of the patient’s actual ailments in order to extract the most amount of money from NHIF. Incidentally, a similar NHIF recruitment drive is underway in Kiambu County under Governor Kimani Wa Matangi.

The funds which run into millions of shillings are then split between the hospital owners and the politicians involved in planning and facilitating the medical heist. It is a sinister scheme that not only exploits the vulnerable elderly population but also threatens to bankrupt NHIF and increase the health burden on the state by performing unnecessary surgeries.

Furthermore, it has been revealed that the hospitals involved in this racket are owned by individuals from outside the Mt Kenya region, adding to the injustice. The same seniors who were previously used as political props are now being subjected to this inhumane scheme.

If the government fails to stop the racket, NHIF will be a thing of the past and millions of Kenyans who depend on the affordable medical scheme will be left vulnerable. It is imperative that the government investigates this matter and brings those responsible to justice.

The health and well-being of our citizens should not be used as a means to line the pockets of corrupt politicians and hospital owners. It is time for action to be taken to protect the integrity of the NHIF and the rights of the elderly citizens in the Mt Kenya region.