Insurer fights to retain MPs' health cover contract - Daily Nation

Liaison Healthcare fights to retain MPs' health cover contract

Friday December 7 2018

Kenya MPs

Members of parliament during a session in the National Assembly. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By DAVID MWERE
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The provider of the medical insurance cover for parliamentarians and their families has warned of dire legal consequences should the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) list another provider before its contract ends in 2020.

Liaison Healthcare Limited was contracted on February 26, 2018 for two years.

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The company's warning followed the PSC's termination of its contract and advertisement for potential providers to submit sealed tender documents for the insurance scheme before December 11.

On December 5, Liaison told the commission to respect orders issued by Justice Grace Nzioka, who stayed the termination notice of November 22.

“Take notice that any action that undermines or which seeks to interfere with our client’s contract, including the tender opening, shall be in contempt of the court," states a letter by TRIPLEOKLAW Advocates Managing Partner James Ochieng’, who responded on behalf of Liaison.

"We hope you shall fully comply with the court order. Any contravention of the order shall be at your own peril and shall be brought to the attention of the court forthwith thereby exposing you to severe consequences," adds the letter addressed to PSC Secretary Jeremiah Nyegenye, who is also the Senate Clerk. 

The tender opening ceremony was scheduled for December 11, meaning any attempt to proceed with the exercise shall amount to contempt.

MEDIATOR

The court had directed that the dispute between the PSC and the insurance provider be handled by mediation.

The letter notes, however, that the commission has not cooperated in terms of responding to requests for concurrence in the appointment of an arbitrator.

Consequently, Mr Ochieng’ noted that the insurance provider will write to the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators to appoint a single arbitrator to determine the dispute in compliance with the court order.

Members of parliament and their spouses are currently entitled to a medical scheme of Sh10 million for the inpatient cover per family, Sh300,000 for the outpatient cover, Sh150,000 for maternity and Sh75,000 for dental care.

This is according to the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) gazette notice of July 2017.

The scheme covers the MPs children who are aged below 25 years and studying in local schools.

MPs' COMPLAINTS

The PSC's move came after MPs, during the speakers Kamukunji (informal sitting) two weeks ago, passed a resolution to reject the current health insurance provider on grounds that it is ineffective.

MPs openly complained of poor service delivery by the insurer, claiming they had, on many occasions, been forced to pay bills and those of their dependants as the company did not take charge.

According to the contract, Liaison is required to pay the medical expenses specified in the contract with the PSC, which is required to submit its subscription fees annually.

The dispute has left a cloud of uncertainty on whether the provider should be paid for services not rendered if the assertions by the aggrieved MPs are anything to go by. 

However, the PSC is determined to proceed with a new insurer. It says interested candidates should submit tenders documents with their numbers.

The applications should be addressed to Mr Nyegenye.

The commission told interested parties to quote the prices (premiums) which should be inclusive of all taxes and delivery costs, and should remain valid for 120 days after the date of tender opening.

Tender documents should be accompanied by a tender security of Sh200 000 in form of a bank guarantee from reputable institutions in the country, it added.