Clinical officers have called off a planned nationwide strike set to start Friday, after the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) agreed to review accreditation procedures which sidelined clinicians from offering services to patients registered with the fund.
The Kenya Union of Clinical Officers (KUCO) and Kenya Clinical Officers Association which had given a strike notice on November 18, threatening to boycott offering services if NHIF continued with the push baring their members from offering services to patients registered with NHIF.
They had threatened to boycott work in two weeks to push the National Hospital Insurance Fund to recognise their prescription for procedures such as CT scans and X-rays.
In a letter to NHIF, KUCO had said it was dissatisfied with the insurer’s refusal to recognise their work with secretary general George Gibore saying they will not accept the demand to register with the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board.
But in a statement on Thursday, KUCO said they had reached an agreement with the NHIF to submit gazetted membership and list of licenced institutions for relevant review and applications to the NHIF operation processes.
“NHIF in line with its strategic intent on stakeholder engagement has held meetings which have resulted into amicable solutions to the concerns of KUCO and resolved to review the provisions that limit clinical officers from discharging services to NHIF beneficiaries,” the union had indicated in their resolve at the onset of a 14-day ultimatum to NHIF over orders which would have required clinical officers to seek approvals from medical officers before billing patients for services rendered.
KUCO estimates that over 70 per cent of services provided in health facilities are facilitated by clinical officers, saying the attempts to make changes in the sector were deliberate attempts to sideline clinical officers in the processes of rolling out of universal healthcare.