Members have over the years been able to access services at local hospitals of their choice that are on the Fund’s list of selected hospitals. These are spread all over the country, which is a good thing as members could access medical care in the regions.
The Fund deserves accolades on this auspicious occasion for its achievements in the face of stiff competition from other health insurance firms with foreign connections. Thanks to its aggressive marketing drive, the Fund has been able to win the confidence of clients, especially in the public sector, and enroll hundreds of members in the process.
Yet extra effort needs to be made in the enrolment drive as the fund has registered only 10 per cent of the population. However, the fund also needs to correct a number of shortcomings which have resulted into numerous complaints among users. These include bureaucracy in releasing permits for specialized medical investigations and release of funds to hospitals that have been registered to provide services to the Fund’s members.
This has resulted, unfortunately, into some hospitals opting out of the NHIF list. Fine; there could be genuine reasons for the delays in cash remittances to the service providers due to the records jam that could take time to sort out. Others include claim verification.
These should all the same be hastened to remit funds to the hospitals, which had offered the services in good faith.
Perhaps the best solution, as already envisaged, is for NHIF to build its own referral hospital and satellite medical centres to serve its clients better. Let these plans materialize.