The Teachers Service Commission on Monday said all 337,000 government-employed teachers will receive full medical cover under the Commission’s medical scheme AON Minet for coronavirus-related ailments.
The announcement came as a relief to teachers with the health ministry having declared funding of such medical bills under the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) as unsustainable.
MoH estimates released in July reported the cost of managing asymptomatic COVID-19 case at Sh21,300 daily in a public hospital.
The Ministry said severe cases requiring supplemental oxygen cost an average of Sh51,000 per day while critical cases requiring ventilatory support cost Sh71,000 a day.
AON Minet medical had released a statement in conjunction with TSC saying it will support teachers and their dependants affected by the pandemic.
“We confirm that teachers and their dependants are covered for treatment of Covid-19 subject to the Medical Scheme terms and conditions.
In addition to access to service, the following mitigation measures have been put in place in an effort to support teachers and their dependents and to reduce the risk of contracting the virus:
1. Introduction of a COVID-19 Incidence Reporting USSD Tool *202*07# for teachers and their dependents.
2. Mental Health ( Psychosocial support) tele-counselling toll-free line 0800720029.
3. Allowing members to access treatment via telemedicine.
4. Delivering drugs to registered chronic patients.
5. Distribution of hand sanitizers to members.
6. Utilizing the option of OTP (One Time PIN) identification to avoid contact and likely infection through the use of biometric fingerprint readers,” AON Minet had said through a circular.
Public Health Director General Patrick Amoth explained that the major contributor to the high cost of COVID-19 treatment is the Personal Protective Equipment most of which are single-use.
The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) has however criticized the health ministry’s financing of critical protective gear terming interventions by the Mutahi Kagwe-led ministry as inadequate.
The union issued a 21-day strike notice on Sunday citing exposure of its members to occupational hazards while handling COVID-19 cases due to the unavailability of protective gear .