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Private hospitals finger government on high treatment cost

By Winnie Onyando February 18th, 2022 1 min read

Private hospitals have defended the high cost of medical treatment in the country, attributing the same to the high taxes imposed on medical equipment.

Speaking during the release of the Universal Healthcare Coverage report, Daniel Yumba, the General Director of Kenya Association of Private Hospitals, said most health institutions have to fork out billions of shillings to import equipment.

“The cost of importing equipment is high and that is why our prices cannot be comparable to those of government hospitals,” said Dr Yumbya.

He also called on citizens to register and have the NHIF Card to save them from the burden of paying high medical bills.

“It is very difficult to use your money to pay for medical services. If everyone has an NHIF card, then the health sector will be a completely transformed sector,”said Dr Yumbya.

The comments comes just weeks after the Ministry of Health ordered private hospitals to reduce medical expenses as part of an agreement to end tensions between the two institutions and the National Insurance Fund (NHIF).

Negotiations between the private sector and the NHIF over a new contract are still ongoing after private hospitals refused to renew the contract with the NHIF citing a reduction in the amount of cash that would be paid by insurers.

However, Health Cabinet Secretary, Mutahi Kagwe stressed that private hospitals should reduce the cost of treatment, arguing that some citizens cannot afford to pay the fees charged by the industry.

“Cancer patients for example are going through a difficult situation. Most of them cannot afford to pay all those bills. The sector must reduce costs so that ordinary citizens can access treatment, ”said Kagwe.