Teachers Petition to block Minet Cover Too Late, Says TSC.
The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) opposed a petition by twelve teachers to terminate its contract with a medical insurance company.
According to TSC’s director of human resource management and development, Julius Olayo, the petition was filed on Tuesday, December 1, after the contract was renewed.
Olayo noted that the court lacked jurisdiction over the petition and that the petitioners should have sought redress through the Procurement Review Board.
“To the extent that the petition to quash the execution of the contract between TSC and the insurance firm and a declaration that the procurement process was opaque is not only overtaken by events, but also outside the court’s jurisdiction,” argued Olayo.
The new deal is valued at Ksh53,3 billion, an increase from the previous contract, which was valued at Ksh27 billion, and would offer health insurance to over 341,000 teachers on the TSC payroll and thousands more that the commission intends to hire.
In the first year, according to Olayo, TSC would pay the insurance company Ksh14.9 billion. In the second installment, Ksh17.9 billion would be wired to the insurance, followed by Ksh20.6 billion later on.
The petitioners alleged that they were compelled to pay for their treatment while the insurance company received billions of dollars for its services.
They complained that they were required to send a text message to the insurance company for identification prior to obtaining medication and requested the court to convince the corporation to provide them with smart cards.
TSC claimed, however, that due to National Assembly budgetary allocations for medical coverage, it could not fully support the system with premium payments as required by the Insurance Act.
Therefore, the allocated money were applied to the provision of essential medical services rather than the purchase of smart cards, which could incur additional costs.
According to Olayo, the smart card’s principal function is to enable the identification of its members.
The insurance company challenged the cancellation of the contract through its general manager, noting that under the previous agreement, it had difficulty authenticating and identifying the patients through the provided message.
“There were over one million lives covered under the scheme, and there may have been some challenges under the previous contract,” the general manager asserted.