Cotu to sue employers for withholding NHIF contributions

Wednesday February 3 2016

Cotu Secretary-General Francis Atwoli, who said

Cotu Secretary-General Francis Atwoli, who said the trade union group would sue employers who withhold contributions to NHIF. FILE PHOTO | ROBERT NGUGI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By CAROLINE WAFULA
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The Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) has threatened to sue employers who have been withholding members’ contributions to the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF).

Cotu Secretary-General Francis Atwoli issued the threat Wednesday at the Great Rift Valley Resort in Naivasha after holding a two-day consultative meeting with top NHIF officials.

"We have instructed our lawyers to assist NHIF to ensure workers do not lose a single coin," said Mr Atwoli.

Cotu and the NHIF met at the forum to discuss progress in implementing the national health insurance cover.

The parties agreed that contributions to NHIF would be pegged on the basic pay of employees as opposed to gross pay.

They also agreed to further lobby the relevant parliamentary committee to fast-track amendments to the NHIF Act.

Among officials who attended the forum were NHIF chairman Mohamud Ali, CEO Simon Ole Kirgotty and representatives of various trade unions.

Mr Ali said the membership and level of compliance to the insurance fund had grown tremendously over the past three years.

“There was some doubt when we rolled out the outpatient services last year. But today the level of compliance has risen from 60-65 per cent to 90-95 per cent,” he stated.

He said NHIF membership has grown from about 3.7 million in 2013 to the current 5.9 million members.

“We will do whatever is possible to revamp NHIF, we will continue to restructure where necessary,” he stated.

Mr Ali described Cotu as a committed partner to the NHIF.