The National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) is yet to renew its contract with civil servants since March 31, when its contract expired.
This leaves the more than 700,000 civil servants exposed especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, where at least 670 health workers have been infected.
This means that civil servants who do not have alternative insurance covers will be left exposed until a tendering process is followed and a tender awarded, according to an advisory letter to NHIF boss Peter Gathege from Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) Quality and Research Manager Peter Ndung’u, on behalf of the director-general
“You are reminded to ensure that the subject procurement is carried out in accordance with the Act and the Regulations issued under the repealed Public Procurement and Disposal Act, 2005,” Mr Ndung’u says in the letter dated May 8, 2020.
NHIF contracts the provision of Group Life Cover and Last Expense Cover to a third party through tendering, meaning that civil servants under the NHIF cover might not be compensated in case of death.
“While we note that the urgency and the risk exposure presented by the expiry of the contract cover in particular due to Covid-19 disease and the need for provision of insurance cover to essential and front-line personnel as directed by the Head of state, we note that your procuring entity sought our advice one month after the subject contract expired,” Mr Ndung’u says.
The National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yattani had barred NHIF from from engaging in commercial insurance because it is not registered with the Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA), under Section 19 of the Insurance Ac.
The move has seen 52 institutions that were on board affected, even as they seek alternatives.