Home Health Expectant mothers told to register with NHIF for free care

Expectant mothers told to register with NHIF for free care


Expectant mothers seeking to benefit from the free maternity programme will have to register with the National Hospital Insurance Fund.
According to a directive by the NHIF, those who fail to register will be required to pay cash should they show up for the free delivery services.
The fund’s chief executive officer, Mr Geoffrey Mwangi, said it is important for them to register to ensure they have an easy time when they seek the services. “Since we are handling the programme, it is appropriate for expectant mothers to register with the fund,” he added.
Mr Mwangi said being a contributor and registering for the free maternity programme were two different things. “When you are a contributor, you stand to benefit from many other packages and that includes the mother’s dependant. But with the Linda Mama programme, it’s only the mother and the child who benefit for six months,” said Mr Mwangi.
He said registering does not mean that one remits the monthly Sh500.
“After registration, you can either decide to be a member or not,” he said
Kenyatta National Hospital, which takes care of over thousands of pregnant women in a month, released a circular on the matter.
According to the circular, dated December 22, expectant mothers who need to benefit from the Linda Mama programme should be registered with NHIF.
Pregnant women who are currently not members have to be referred to NHIF offices for instant registration through a mobile phone platform provided by the fund.
“I think making it mandatory for expectant mothers to be registered with NHIF before they benefit will see many locked out of the free maternity programme,” said Dr Aggrey Akula, a gynaecologist based in western Kenya. “The services should be free regardless of whether you are registered or not.”
He said even with the mobile registration, many women in rural areas who have no idea about the listing will only turn up at hospitals when they are pregnant.
“The fund officials need to create more awareness if they really need to sustain the programme,” he said.
At the same time, Mr. Mwangi exuded confidence that the fund will roll out the insurance scheme for three million secondary school students.
“We are ready and as soon as we are given the go-ahead, we shall issue the special cards to students so that they can access healthcare at all the accredited hospitals,” he told the Business Mirror recently.
He said the cover will relieve parents of the burden of footing the cost of treatment for their children while in school.


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