The Kenya Medical Association has called for the suspension of the Ministry of Medical Services Permanent Secretary Mary Ngare to pave the way for thorough investigation into the National Hospital Insurance Fund scandal.
The association also demanded the reconstitution of the caretaker board appointed by President Kibaki to manage the fund after suspension of the previous board.
KMA chairman Elly Nyaim on Friday said the government ignored the association when it appointed members to the temporary board yet the NHIF Act allowed them to participate in the top level management of the fund.
“We have written to the Head of Civil Service and the PS in the Prime Minister’s office concerning the illegality around the present membership of the caretaker board but they have ignored our concerns,” Dr Nyaim said.
Having been a member of the suspended board, he said, Ms Ngare ought not to have been called back to the interim board.
However, he said Medical Services Minister Anyang’ Nyong’o could stay in office until the investigations are over but should be prepared to quit if he is implicated in the scandal.
The lobby that brings together medical practitioners, pharmacists and dentists also demanded the inclusion of its chairman in the board to ensure professional input into the daily running of NHIF activities.
They also asked for medical practitioners to be involved in the ongoing investigations.
“It will not be right to continue without input from doctors. We shall not respect the outcome of the investigations or even challenge it in court if we are not properly included,” Dr Nyaim said when he addressed a press conference at KMA Centre in Nairobi.
The association also called for the review of the NHIF Act to conform to the Constitution.
Early this month Prime Minister Raila Odinga suspended NHIF Chief Executive Richard Kerich and the board chaired by Dr Richard Muga to allow for investigations into allegations that it had irregularly awarded funds to Clinix and Meridian Medical Centre to provide health care to civil servants.
Mr Odinga also appointed Mr Adan A. Adan, a deputy secretary in the Ministry of Medical Services as the acting NHIF Chief Executive.