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Sh7bn drop in NHIF bills over Covid-19
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|Sh7bn drop in NHIF bills over Covid-19 by Kenyans247(1): Mon 26, October, 2020 08:22am|
Despite the health challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, Kenyans spent a little less on medical bills in the financial year ending June 30 compared to a similar period in 2019.
The National Hospital Insurance Fund spent Sh13 billion on bills compared to Sh20 billion last year, a 35 per cent drop, as maternity services and surgeries topped payments. Data obtained by the Nation showed that the pandemic slowed down admissions in the last quarter of the financial year (March-June).
Between March and June, Kenyans seeking CT Scan and ultra sound services, caesarean delivery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy dropped by 38 per cent.
Only 13.42 billion cases were treated through NHIF payments in the three months compared to 21.72 billion in the first three months of the year as patients avoided hospitals over fears of contracting Covid-19.
NHIF said the decline was a result of the “impact of Covid-19, as job losses may have seen a reduction on premiums contribution”.
“On the benefits utilisation, there was a definite decline for all benefits in March and April. This however started correcting in June when most providers resumed services fully. Overseas treatment had a definite drop due to restricted travels,” the agency said, pointing out that the ban on international flights could have hampered the surgical and oncology procedures patients had been accustomed to mostly in India.
On surgeries, NHIF paid out Sh6.82 billion to hospitals, compared to Sh5.6 billion in 2018.
About Sh5.22 billion was spent on major surgeries, with specialised procedures costing Sh957.80 million. Minor surgeries cost the public insurer 548.8 million. Maternity services took about Sh3.52 billion, compared to Sh2.78 billion in 2018.
Caesarean section saw its biggest growth by 37 per cent to Sh1.52 billion from Sh1.15 billion, while Sh2.02 billion was pumped in normal deliveries, up from Sh1.67 billion in 2018.
NHIF spent Sh331.9 million on specialised diagnostic tests, which included MRI, CT Scan and ultra sound, while renal hemodialysis took Sh1.81 billion, a 28 per cent increase from Sh1.41 billion. The insurer pumped Sh41.5 million into kidney transplants, up from Sh38.5 million in 2018.
On cancer, the insurer spent Sh827 million on oncology, which included chemotherapy and radiotherapy, up from Sh577 million.
Chemotherapy complex was the highest paid tab under this segment, increasing by 44 per cent, with Sh525.09 million paid out to hospitals, up from Sh364.08 million.
Normal chemotherapy costs also shot up by 41 per cent to Sh210.83 million, up from Sh149.75 million, while radiotherapy rose by 42 per cent to 92.06 million, from Sh64.9 million.
Optical and dental services accounted for Sh1.7 million and Sh3.8 million respectively.
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