Move to award police medical cover’s tender to private providers challenged in court

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The decision to move medical insurance cover for the police and prisons personnel from National Hospital Insurance Fund has been challenged in court.

Two petitioners Chrispine Onyango  Odhiambo and Henry Shitanda claim that respondents whose employees are public servants and thus mandatory and statutory contributors to the NHIF have abdicated a well-known medical cover and gone against the law to advertise and issue the tender to private firms.

The tender was last month awarded to a consortium composed of General insurance Ltd, Britam General Insurance Company Kenya Ltd and Old Mutual General Insurance Ltd at a total of Sh8.7 billion.

The petitioners argue that the respondents do not have the capacity to award the tender to any other provider as Section 15(3) (2A) of the NHIF Act No 1 of 2022 only allows employers other than the National government and County government to seek an exemption from paying NHIF cover for its employees.

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“The award tender MICNG/002/2022-2023 is illegal, has flouted several procurement requirements under the PPRA act, goes against the spirit of article 43 of the Constitution of Kenya,” argue the petitioners.

“The process was rushed despite protest letter, and was deliberately crafted and executed in the above manner to enable the sharing of the Sh8,699,999,999 of public money among the awarded bidders in collusion with a few individuals to satisfy the interests of a few people thus going against the spirit of the Vision 2030 flagship project which aims to provide universal health coverage to all Kenyans,” they aver.

They have further argued that under the new cover rules and regulations, police officer risk losing benefits as the private insurers have moved to reduce the reimbursement from the previously issued Sh1,500 per person per visit to between Sh650 and Sh1,300 per person per visit thereby effectively looking out most junior police officers from adequate health and making it very expensive.

They also want the court to stop government from doing any acts that shall give further effect to the implementation of tender number MICNG/002/2022-2023-Provision of medical insurance coverage for the members of the National Police Service and the Kenya Prisons Service.

Justice Hedwig Ongudi has directed the petitioners to serve all the respondents and interested parties with the pleadings within three days.

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