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NHIF accused of delaying KES 600M probe

04 February 2014, 16:27 Millicent Kawii

Nairobi - The National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) has been accused of seeking defence from the media in a case where a health services provider is claiming redress over a KES 600 million loss.

Meridian Medical Centre has blamed NHIF of seeking defence from the media in a bid to clear its name from refusing to pay an alleged outstanding payment for the provision of primary health care services.

Meridian also claimed that NHIF has refused to comply with orders to file court documents for the case at the required timeline and are only active in filing other cases in a bid to delay the pre-trial.

“NHIF has other related matters in these courts, a judicial review case and a criminal proceeding, they have been defending themselves through the media,” Meridian claimed.

A pre-trial for the case in which Meridian sued NHIF seeking an outstanding payment of Sh 696,658,653 failed to kick off Tuesday.

NHIF said they were not ready for the pre-trial as they did not have witness statements as required and requested for 30 days to have the witness statements ready for the pre- trial while Meridian wanted NHIF to be allowed up to Monday to comply.

Lady Justice Jacqueline Kamau questioned both parties for seeking a pre-trial date yet they were not prepared.

She ordered NHIF and Meridian to provide a joint statement of what they both wanted to be determined in seven days as well as share costs for having the matter scheduled for pre-trial yet they were not ready.

NHIF was further ordered to provide the witness statements in two weeks’ time.

Meridian alleges it was to be paid Sh 12,496,333 for the 6 month pilot project, Sh 118, 171,688 for the second quarter of April 1 - June 30, 2012, Sh 34, 218,038 for expenditure incurred while on contract and Sh 531, 772, 594 for loss of profit for the remainder of the contract period.

NHIF denies the alleged contract and claims its Board of Management did not engage beneficiaries of the pilot project from providing outpatient medical services.

NHIF also claims Meridian has only four declared hospitals and that the alleged payments are ‘strange’.

NHIF has also sued Meridian and some of NHIF employees and had them charged for illegally obtaining public benefits.

Clinix and Meridian directors had wanted to stop the Director of Public Prosecution from instituting criminal charges against them, a case which was dismissed by Justice George Odunga.

The pre-trial will be on February 18.

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