The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has supported the medical scheme of teachers, claiming it is the best of its kind in the region. TSC is now terming accusations that some teachers are being humiliated by service AON Minet as baseless.
TSC chief executive Nancy Macharia stated that claims of teachers being embarrassed when seeking services are false. She appended that AON Minet Insurance has no daily limit on outpatient services.
“The only capping for the outpatient component is the member’s annual allocation,” Mrs Macharia informed the Senate Committee on Education chaired by Dr Alice Milgo on 4th.
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She said an examination of the advantages confirms that the teacher’s medical scheme is better than what is enjoyed by most public workers in Kenya and the region.
Mrs Macharia stated the scheme comprises of a wide range of services and that the yearly allocations for every component are sufficient to cover the principal member and 5 dependants.
While responding to a statement sought by Senator Rose Nyamunga who said teachers are being humiliated under AON Minet Insurance Scheme, the TSC boss maintained that the scheme provides accessible health services to teachers in the 47 counties “It is one of the most comprehensive medical schemes,” she said.
Ms Nyamunga said teachers are complaining that the funds for outpatient services are capped at Sh900, comprehensive of doctor consultation, tests and medicine. The lawmaker continued by saying that teachers are being restricted on where to seek treatment.
She stated that some of the hospitals taking the teachers are inadequately equipped and lack qualified personnel. “There are delays in approval, which can sometimes take up to a month,” Ms Nyamunga said.
Other difficulties the teachers and their dependants face, she said, includes restricted access due to rigid operating hours at some hospitals and inadequate dental services. AON Minet only carters for tooth extraction.
Senator Nyamunga said teachers face a lot of problems with the insurance firm.
TSC, however, said the scheme has more than 500 providers giving a wide variety of services, such as inpatient, outpatient, dental, optical, maternity, medical emergency evacuation and functional referrals regionally and universally, group excess of loss cover, group life and last expense cover.
AON Minet covers over 1,036,000 lives, with 332,000 listed teachers and their dependants accessing any hospital on the list of service, the commission said.
“Based on the feedback at consultative forums on the administration of the scheme and monthly meetings, additional 32 medical service providers ranging from private facilities, faith-based institutions as well as some country referral hospitals were added to the list of medical providers,” Mrs Macharia said.
TSC boss said that it has ensured hospitals are approved by the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) noting the claim that some hospitals on the list lack qualified personnel “is not entirely true”.
“To address such a sensitive issue, the commission requires specific details,” she said.
Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) and The Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) have requested the government to increase funds and aid improve the medical cover.
Kuppet Secretary-General Akelo Misori asked teachers encountering problems while using the medical scheme not shy away from informing the union TSC.
“It is important to know the hospitals lacking facilities and qualified workers. That will help us raise the matter with the service providers,” Mr Misori said.
Knut Secretary-General Wilson Sossion stated that teachers contribute to NHIF besides the medical scheme. “To be fair to service providers, we request to be given specifics so that our representatives can follow up and provide feedback,” he said.
Mr Sossion maintained that some hospitals could be giving poor services to teachers to sabotage the scheme.
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