Government blamed over delay to release KSh12 billion teachers’ medical cover

As published on on May 27th 2024

The national Treasury has been blamed for failing to release the KSh17.6 billion required by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) for the annual medical scheme leaving tutors without access to medical services.

The Treasury only released KSh5.1 billion for the first quarter of the Financial Year 2023/2024. This leaves an outstanding amount of KSh12.5 billion, which has resulted in teachers being turned away from hospitals.

Earlier this week, representatives from TSC, Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT), Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) criticized the Treasury over the delay during a Senate Committee on Health Session chaired by Uasin Gishu Jackson Mandago.
Of the total KSh316.7 billion allocated to the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) in this financial year, KSh17.6 billion was specifically designated for medical coverage for teachers.

The Commission depends on the funds released from the National Treasury for onward payment to Minet that in turn released the money to the consortium under Medical Administration Kenya Limited (MAKL) that then pays the hospitals the bills that are due,” said Ayabei Chumo, representing TSC CEO Nancy Macharia.

Teachers are covered by Minet Brokers Limited which subcontracted eight other insurance companies under MAKL to provide services nationwide.

The companies include Old Mutual General Insurance, Britam General Insurance Company, Bliss Healthcare Limited, Medical Administration Kenya Limited, Star Discovery Insurance Limited and Pioneer Assurance Company Limited.

“TSC signed a three-year contract for the service with Minet Broker Limited for the medical insurance cover for teachers serving the public schools and employed by the commission, but excluding the 46’000 serving on contracts as interns,” Chumo said.

The contract, which runs from December 1, 2022, to November 30, 2025, was granted to Minet following a rigorous competitive bidding process.

“The contract covers all teachers employed by TSC, one spouse, four dependents up to 18 years and 25 years for those who can prove they are in school or in college,” added Chumo.

The contract allocates KSh2 million for medical treatment at international hospitals and an additional KSh2 million to cover travel expenses for the patient and one accompanying family member.

The coverage includes services for in-patient care, outpatient care, dental and optical services, psychiatric support, counselling, as well as provisions for road and air evacuation and funeral services.

“It is important for the National Treasury to release on time the outstanding funds and what is periodically due to TSC to pay for the insurance cover. This will bring to an end the perennial challenges that have dogged the programme for several years,” KNUT General Secretary Collings Oyuu said.

“The review of cover limits, particular concerning maternity expenses, should be conducted on a need basis to ensure equitable support for all teachers, regardless of their job group,” said Akello Misori, KUPPET secretary general.

Senator Mandago and other committee members showed concern over the issue and called for a resolution. Before 2012, the medical allowance was included in teachers’ pay slips, but the responsibility has since shifted to the TSC to ensure a medical insurer.

The medical scheme, which initially covered 416 health facilities, has expanded, and now covers 829 facilities. The facilities covered include public, private, and faith-based hospitals licensed by the Kenya Medical, Pharmacists and Dentists Council (KMPDC).