Free maternity spend hits Sh3bn in one year to June 2022

Health CS Susan Nakhumicha

Health CS Susan Nakhumicha.

Photo credit: Diana Ngila | Nation Media Group

State’s spending on free maternity delivery services rose slightly to Sh3.13 billion in the financial year ended June 2022 on the back of higher expenditure on non-surgical deliveries.

Data from the Ministry of Health (MoH) shows the total spending on normal and caesarian section deliveries under the State-funded Linda Mama Programme rose from Sh3.04 billion that had been used in the previous year.

Total spending on normal deliveries hit Sh2.42 billion in the period under review from Sh2.33 billion in the preceding period.

C-section deliveries, which involve surgical operation, cooled from a peak of Sh711.5 million in 2021 to Sh707.3 million.

The spending on deliveries accounted for 67.2 percent of the Sh4.66 billion that the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF), which manages the programme on behalf of the government, used in the year.

Inpatient services to expectant mothers amounted to Sh974.6 million, down from Sh1.31 billion in the preceding period.

Ante-natal care services—care given during pregnancy— and post-natal care took up Sh491.8 million and Sh62.9 million respectively.

The government transferred Sh8.19 billion to the NHIF during the review period, with Sh2.38 billion clearing the balances that the fund was owed. This left it with Sh5.8 billion to run the programme.

NHIF administers the programme by receiving funds from the government through the MoH, registering eligible women, contracting facilities and reimbursing the providers for services rendered.

The average claims processing period was 23 days compared to a target of 27 days, showing that service providers were receiving their money within a month.

During the period under review, there were a total of 1.186 million registered expectant mothers, a slight increase compared to the same period in the previous financial year which had 1.153 million registered expectant mothers.

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