The management of the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) has been summoned by a parliamentary committee to give reasons why it is yet to refund Sh200 million of police insurance to the Ministry of Interior.
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the National Assembly is adamant that the NHIF Chief Executive Officer, Dr Peter Kamunyo must be accountable and give concreate reasons on why the refund is taking ages.
The Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho was before the committee on Monday where he stated that efforts to recover the money has hit a dead end.
“The NHIF CEO must appear before this committee to explain where the money is. This is public money and the PAC is committed to ensuring that public funds are used prudently,” PAC chairman Opiyo Wandayi said.
Consequently, the Ugunja MPP ordered Kamunyo to appear before the committee.
The said amount is in excess to the Sh4.79 billion allocated for the comprehensive medical insurance cover awarded to NHIF.
This money was for the cushioning of member of the National Police Service who might exhaust their limits.
This money was meant to be refundable at the end of the contract period. But as the Auditor General’s report flagged on 2018/19 financial year, reported that the money is yet to be refunded.
“It was not possible to determine whether the National Police Service got value for money that was due for refund at the end of the comprehensive medical cover contract,” Nancy Gathungu says in the audit report.
According to Kibicho the Interior Ministry is considering to withhold further payment of insurance premiums to the NHIF until the money is refunded.
“As a ministry we have written to NHIF but it has completely refused to respond to our inquiries,” he told the watchdog committee.
“In the meantime, we will use other measures including withholding the Sh200 million premium due to them until they respond.”
NHIF was in the past not allowed to engage in the provision of commercial insurance services to public entities and private companies as provided for under section 19 of the Insurance Act.
However, through a Gazette notice of April 17, 2020, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yattani exempted NHIF from the provisions of the law, effectively allowing the public insurer to engage in the insurance business.