Atwoli roots for government funding to NHIF
11 September 2014, 20:57
Mombasa - Central Organisation Trade Union (COTU) Secretary General, Francis Atwoli, has asked the government to allocate more funding to the National Hospital and Insurance Fund (NHIF) to supplement the Union's contribution.
Speaking in Mombasa during a two-day consultative retreat with NHIF Executive Board members, Atwoli said the government should consider setting aside some allocation to supplement what Kenyans have contributed to the universal health provider.
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“Provision of universal healthcare should not be left to workers alone; huge supplements from the government should be allocated to supplement the Union's contribution,” said Atwoli.
The National Hospital Insurance Fund had proposed that the contributors' pay of two percent of their gross salary up to a maximum of KES 2 000 a month — effectively halving monthly contributions for those earning less than KES 100 000 compared to the income bands-based fees.
“For us to be able to give universal services to our members, we need to partner with all stakeholders. We have the will to bring the Fund into a desired level by all Kenyans,” said the NHIF board chairman, Mohamud Mohamed Ali, on Wednesday.
The two organisations have cited NHIF’s mismanagement of funds and lack of consultations before publication of the news rates as the reason for their opposition.
Atwoli on Wednesday said the Union was willing to consider revised fees but insisted that NHIF should be reformed before any new charges could be effected.
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teachers demand new NHIF board
“We are open to discussing a revision of the rates but NHIF must be reformed first before workers are asked to pay more,” Atwoli said, adding that the Fund must be cleared of scandals that have robbed contributors of billions of shillings.
The new contribution structure shows that those earning KES 16 000 will keep contributing the current flat rate of KES 320 per month, leaving those earning less than KES 16 000 with a much lighter burden.
Those earning a gross monthly salary of KES 12 000 will pay in KES 240 or 52 percent less compared to the KES 500 they were to pay under the stalled scheme. The fee will also be 7.6 percent lower than the KES 260 that is currently deducted from their pay cheque.
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