Now Githu faults NHIF as clinics demand millions

Friday February 26 2016

Attorney-General Githu Muigai (right) conversing with Justice Aggrey Muchelule outside the Supreme Court on February 2, 2016. Prof Muigai told the National Assembly’s Committee on Health that he had advised the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) to pay for services provided by Clinix and Meridian, who are demanding millions of shillings in compensation.  PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIAGROUP

Attorney-General Githu Muigai (right) conversing with Justice Aggrey Muchelule outside the Supreme Court on February 2, 2016. Prof Muigai told the National Assembly’s Committee on Health that he had advised the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) to pay for services provided by Clinix and Meridian, who are demanding millions of shillings in compensation. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIAGROUP 

By JOHN NJAGI
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The national health insurer’s termination of Sh218 million contracts for two companies that provided medical services to civil servants was unprocedural, the Attorney-General said Thursday.

Prof Githu Muigai told the National Assembly’s Committee on Health chaired by Ms Rachel Nyamai (Kitui Central) that he had advised the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) to pay for services provided by Clinix and Meridian, who are demanding millions of shillings in compensation.

“We advised the NHIF board to pay as per its obligations,” he said.

He said a caretaker board cancelled the contracts but it was believed that a properly constituted team would adopt the pay directive.

Prof Muigai said no board had been appointed in the last three years.

He denied responsibility for the delay in paying the two firms, incurring millions of shillings in interest, saying the NHIF did not go back to him for legal advice after it failed to implement the decision made in January 2013.

West Mugirango MP James Gesami said the government should get decisive and swift legal advice from the AG to avoid unnecessary litigation and waste of taxpayers’ money.

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He said since the matter came into the limelight, several people, including MPs, had been threatened with death and urged its speedy resolution.

Endebess MP Robert Pukose urged the AG to appoint an arbitrator to conclude the claims and prevent the loss of more taxpayers’ money.

Although the interest accumulated has not been disclosed, millions of shillings could have been lost as the claims were made way back in 2012.

Meanwhile, it has emerged the majority shareholder in Clinix, Farmers Investments, with 99 per cent, is registered in the British Virgin Islands and it is not clear who its directors are.

A Registrar of Companies official said when the firm won the tender, foreign companies were not obliged to make full disclosure of ownership.

The contracts were cancelled amid controversy with claims that some of the firms did not have enough branches nationwide.