KUPPET Calls Parliament & Treasury to Release Sh8.9 Billion Teachers’ Medical Funds Under Review
Teachers are now asking the National Treasury to disburse an additional Sh8.9 billion for their medical coverage, claiming that the expiration of the previous plan has left them vulnerable.
According to the Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet), the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) needs Sh23,9 billion to provide teachers with complete medical coverage.
However, the government has allotted only Sh15 billion to the project, which falls short of NHIF’s estimate, and is sure that there are no further funds available.
Kuppet Secretary-General Akello Misori stated that Minet’s medical program for teachers terminated on October 31, and that NHIF has been in discussion with the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), but is unwilling to supply the medical scheme at Sh15 billion.
Mr. Misori stated that the Sh15 billion allocation is contingent upon the teachers’ contribution of Sh9 billion and the government’s contribution of Sh6 billion, which was authorized by the legislature.
“We are urgently calling upon Parliament and the Treasury to urgently provide funds for the teachers’ medical scheme currently under review. The bottleneck is the Sh8.9 billion that the government is not willing to release,” said Mr Misori in a statement.
“The previous medical cover expired last month and teachers are now living in total anxiety as they are not sure when they will get the next cover,” he added.
Mr. Misori stated that instructors are satisfied with NHIF’s broad coverage, but that the continuing deadlock has left them vulnerable.
In 2019, TSC awarded Minet Insurance Kenya a Sh27 billion medical coverage contract for three years, which expired on October 31.
Mr. Misori also challenged TSC to release the bid for the new medical plan so that the best bidder, who will give the best coverage for teachers, is selected.
Kuppet stated at the beginning of October that it did not want the Minet contract to be renewed and asked TSC to hire NHIF as the new provider.
The union noted teachers’ dissatisfaction with Minet, stating they desired a medical plan that met their needs and a voice in the matter.
They noted that TSC required teachers to register with Minet without enabling them to participate in the selection of the scheme administrator and health care providers.
“NHIF would be the best cover for teachers but if the government does not add the Sh8.9 billion, then it will not be possible to cover teachers through NHIF,” said Mr. Misori.
“Without provision of the additional amount, then teachers will be out of cover and will be left exposed should they fall sick,” he said.
He stated that in a National Treasury letter to TSC dated 30 June, the Exchequer reiterated that accounting officers should refrain from soliciting additional money beyond those authorized by Parliament.
Therefore, Mr. Misori urged the National Assembly to allocate the additional funds as a matter of urgency through a supplemental budget.
He asked the National Assembly to reallocate the necessary finances to provide teachers with the desired medical coverage.