𝐖𝐞𝐝𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐝𝐚𝐲 𝐍𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐦𝐛𝐞𝐫 𝟏, 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟑
The newly appointed Chief Executive Officer of the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) Mr. Elijah Wachira was today challanged to ensure positive change in terms of service delivery as he spearheades the fund’s transition to the National Social Authority(NSA) set to be unveiled in the near future.
In a sitting at Parliament buildings, Members of the Public Investments Committee on Social Services Administration and Agriculture led by Chairperson Hon. Emanuel Wangwe (Navakholo ) raised concerns over the unavailability of a number of documents that could help in recovering public funds lost through fraud under Mr. Wachira’s predecessors.
Mr. Wachira who joined the Fund recently assured the Committee that he has made all the efforts to find all the documents needed by the Committee to be able to clear raised audit queries and even give way to investigations which would ensure stiff penalties to anyone who misused public money under the fund.
“Hon. Chair, I want to assure this Committee that 99% of the documents you requested for are now available. We have worked day and night to even retrieve those for historical cases. I know challenges will be there as I familiarise myself with my new position and duties, but I assure you we shall work together with this Committee to bring the truth to light”, he said.
Members of the Committee raised a number of issues as flagged out by the Auditor-Generals report of the year ended June 2020. Hon. Peter Masara (Suna West) raised a question on double payments and overpayments above specified limits on special programmes like Linda Mama.
In addition Hon. Geoffrey Wandeto (Tetu) questioned a payment schedule by Amaco insurance firm on the Fund’s vehicle involved in an accident and declared to have been written off. He disagreed with the release of the Ksh 4 million claim in installments.
“The payment shedule of the money from this insurance firm should be rejected by NHIF, chair. Any credible insurance company should have requisite capacity to handle any liabilities. The Ksh 4 million NHIF is claiming should have been paid in full not in instalments as it’s being done. NHIF should have engaged the Insurance Regulatory Authority to solve this”, said Hon. Wandeto.
At this point the CEO asked the Committee to allow him time to get factual reports on all matters raised including fraudulent hospital claims and payments then table before the Committee in the next sitting.
This includes responses on irregular payments of acting allowances, failure to settle legal expenses, delayed surrender of temporary imprest, unsupported expenditure, budgetary control and performance and long outstanding return to drawer cheques.
Mr. Wachira in his final remarks to the Committee, pointed out that a number of operations like promotion of officers in acting positions have been affected by the ongoing transition to the new authority and that it may take longer.