Mismanagement of funds, fraud and abuse of office are some of the major bottlenecks hindering provision of quality services at the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF).
A Health Financing Reforms Expert Panel (Hefrep) report exclusively obtained by the Sunday Nation indicates that the fund has several organisational weaknesses that affect its operations.
“The current arrangement does not adequately cover all core functions that are needed to make the NHIF a strategic purchaser. Second, the structure is hierarchical and functionally fragmented. As a result, the different departments and units operate in silos with very little coordination and communication. This results in bureaucratic inefficiencies,” reads the report.
The problem is further compounded by lack of a substantive chief executive since 2018, when the fund’s board sent the then boss Geoffrey Mwangi and acting Finance Director Wilbert Kurgat on compulsory leave to pave the way for investigations into the loss of billions of shillings. Mr Nicodemus Odongo, who has been serving as the director in charge of strategy, planning and marketing, has been leading the agency in acting capacity since then, and did not apply for the position.