June 2017 Businessdaily; The National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) is now providing emergency road ambulance services to all its members and declared dependents, a benefit only the civil servants have been enjoying for the past three years.
NHIF chief executive Geoffrey Mwangi told the Business Daily that the Fund has partnered with the Kenya Red Cross Society through its Eplus Limited subsidiary to roll the service nationwide.
The enhanced benefits include emergency care on site and provision of pre-hospital care on transit in “specially designed” ambulances, said Mr Mwangi.
The benefits also include transportation and transfer of a sick member or dependent for treatment to the nearest NHIF accredited health facility.
“Rolling the road ambulance benefits nationwide is going to make more economical sense while adding more value as NHIF will still pay for the same subscription but to a bigger population,” said Mr Mwangi.
It is not yet clear how many ambulances are at disposal to cater for the growing number of NHIF beneficiaries across the country.
Official data shows that NHIF membership grew by 15.1 per cent last year and crossed the six million mark on the back of a campaign that recruited new members from the informal sector.
The public health insurer added nearly a million members last year as the State pushes for increased medical insurance coverage.
It had 6.13 million members in the year to June, up from 5.2 million in a similar period a year earlier.
Previously, civil servants had been enjoying both air and road emergency evacuations at a cost of Sh50 per member subscription – monies paid by NHIF and at no additional cost to the beneficiary.
Emergency air rescue was introduced to the principal members and disciplined services officers spread across the country in partnership with AMREF Flying Doctors – for transportation and transfer of an injured beneficiary to health facilities.