The National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) owes health institutions run by the Catholic Church in Kenya nearly Sh1.9 billion medical arrears.
This is the unpaid amount accumulated in 100 health facilities from September last year, top church officials said Friday.
Chairman Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops Philip Anyolo said that the church is deeply concerned about the growing debt of NHIF to be paid to its health institutions across the country.
“In fact many of our health facilities have been experiencing a serious crisis of NHIF non-payments to a point where it is difficult to procure medicine or pay salaries,” said Rev Anyolo.
Speaking in Nairobi where he was also flanked by other catholic bishops, Rev Anyolo said that if the situation persists, it threatens to cripple important services and therefore deny the public the health care due to them as a right.
“After raising this issue and seeking urgent intervention of the government, we are hopeful a solution will be found as soon as possible,” Rev Anyolo.
Next week, Nairobi plays host to global leaders, policymakers and influencers to mark the 25th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) which, in 1994, established an ambitious programme of action to achieve comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights for all.
The Nairobi summit, to be held from Tuesday to Thursday, takes place at a time of critical importance for sexual and reproductive health and rights.
The catholic bishops said that any meaningful summit will be expected to focus on a program that targets actions that will uplift women and children living in extreme poverty, migration, strategies for development, literacy and education, encouraging the culture of peace, supporting the family as a basic unit of society, ending violence against women, as well as ensuring access to employment.
“We reject the introduction of these ideologies centered on gender, and other alien practices, which go against our African culture and our religious heritage. We view this agenda as an intent to corrupt out youth and enslave them to foreign ideologies,” Rev Anyolo.
The Catholic Church also appealed to the government and other state actors to actively engage in the fight against corruption.