KMPDU official faults Uhuru's Sh4bn student medical scheme

What you need to know:

  • President Kenyatta launched the NHIF scheme for students on Friday.
  • Under the scheme, the govt will pay Sh1,350 per student for 3 million students.

Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists' Union (KMPDU) Secretary General Ouma Oluga faulted the initiative that was launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday, saying it should have instead targeted students' parents.

“Sh4 billion would insure the parents so even their children in primary school benefit from National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF),” Dr Oluga tweeted.

He went on: “NHIF covers anyone up to college level whose parent is paid up. The level of health risk at this group is low.”

Through the NHIF cover, the government will pay a premium of Sh1, 350 per student for the three million students in public secondary schools as part of the efforts to fulfil one pillar of the Big Four Agenda – provision of affordable health care to all.

Several Kenyans on twitter agreed with Dr Oluga:

Dr Githinji Gitahi @daktari1 replied: “It would be better to ask every student for an NHIF card as a condition for admission to school and then identify the poor kids and pay for their families as part of a social protection scheme. Many of these kids may already have cover under their parents.”

Peter Mukunzi @PeterMukunzi tweeted: “Children under age of 22 years are NHIF covered through their parents. I don't see the need Mr. President. Why not use the Sh4 billions to equip ailing village dispensaries where the only medicine is paracetamol?”