Governors in Kenya and the country’s national government are headed for a clash over the disbursement of US$41.4 million menat for the free maternity programme.
After protesting the delays in the disbursement of funds by the Ministry of Health, the Government has now decided to fund the program through the National Hospital and Insurance Fund (NHIF).
Despite the money being factored into this year’s County Allocation of Revenue Act, as a conditional allocation, the Government has deceised that the NHIF pays for deliveries in both public, faith-based and private hospitals.
The ministry will use US38.5 million to pay for one-year NHIF insurance for pregnant women, and those from poor backgrounds.
Nicholas Muraguri, the Health Principal Secretary said the governors will now not handle the cash directly.
The health ministry has been adamant that the cash is not ‘free lunch’ money and, therefore, counties must prove that actual delivery took place to receive the funds.
Dr Muraguri said the Government was committed to providing universal healthcare to her citizens and the NHIF initiative was the best route.
It’s a way to get better value for investment by building system of insurance. We want every Kenyan to have an insurance. It is part of the Government’s policy,” said the PS.