Patients stranded in hospitals as NHIF systems collapse

September 2022 ;Patients at the Kenyatta National Hospital and other health facilities around Nairobi have for the last two days been stranded in hospital facilities following a major system outage in the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) systems.

Health facilities have not been able to access payment services to NHIF since Friday evening after a faulty power transformer caused the collapse of the systems.

“We would like to inform our members that due to unavoidable and unforeseen circumstances, the power supply system at NHIF building suffered a critical fault occasioned by a faulty transformer which is affecting the delivery of various services to our members,” the parastatal said in a statement.

NHIF said that technical teams were working to fix the problem but as of Saturday afternoon, services were yet to be restored. Most of the affected were discharged patients seeking to pay for services using their NHIF cards.  

“I was discharged two days ago, I planned to clear my hospital bill using my NHIF card but I’m told that the systems have collapsed. How long does it take to restore the systems?” Stephen Omondi, a patient said.

Patients who have been discharged have been forced to stay in health facilities as they wait for the NHIF payment systems to be restored  

It is still unclear how long it will take for the agency to fix the problems. Patients have raised concerns about the rising hospital bills.

“Some people were discharged three days ago but are yet to leave because they have not cleared their bills. It is frustrating that we are not even getting any form of communication from the hospital or NHIF,” a patient at KNH told Nation.Africa.

Mobile services have also been affected since members are unable to make their monthly contributions. Many Kenyans have taken to social media to protest over the outage and possible penalties likely to be charged for late payments due to the system outage.

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