Secondary school students are yet to be issued with the ambitious National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) medical cover cards, a year after the programme was rolled out by the government.
On Saturday, Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association (Kessha ) chairman Kahi Indimuli revealed that head teachers are still required to issue letters to students before they receive treatment.
“What we have been doing is writing introductory letters to the hospitals and providing the unique personal identification cards for the students. We are yet to get be informed about the medical cards,” said Mr Indimuli.
The launch of the NHIF medical cover is one of the government’s Big Four agenda’s, focusing on provision of affordable healthcare.
President Uhuru Kenyatta in April last year launched the Sh4 billion medical scheme allowing Sh1,350 paid for each student.
Under the programme, each student was supposed to be issued with an NHIF card for use every time they visit hospitals.
The medical insurance is meant to cover all the students in public secondary schools and is both for outpatient and in-patient services for the period students will be in school.
It caters for treatment of all kinds of diseases including cancer and HIV/Aids.
Students are also entitled to surgery, and prosthetic replacements in case of losing a limb during educational activities.
Further, the medical cover takes care of ambulance services and other treatments abroad will be reimbursed.
The scheme has also been extended to cover circumcision for boys who will not have been cut by the time of joining secondary schools.
Last year, the Ministry of Education listed 5,314 accredited health facilities to cover students.
When it was launched, schools were required to choose accredited health facilities near them for their students for out-patient services.
Former NHIF chief executive officer Geoffrey Mwangi had promised that the cards will be processed before the end of last year.
“Before the NHIF processes their cards, learners will be required to get a letter from their principal identifying them as their students,” he said.
However, the acting NHIF CEO Nicholas Odongo said students will only be required to use the electronic database provided by the ministry.
“The health facilities are required to identify the students using data captured in the National Education Management Information System (Nemis).”
Mr Odongo said the Nemis codes are being used instead of the NHIF cards.