NHIF Building (photo: standardmedia.com)

The National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) spent Ksh1.36 billion in the financial year 2017/ 2018 as payment towards treatment for cancer.

During the previous year, cancer treatment had cost the medical insurance fund a total of Ksh1.23 billion, a figure that is 11% lower than the latest numbers in the Fund’s utilization report.

The report indicates that in the last five years, NHIF has steadily increased its care benefit packages from two to over ten.

According to the report, the NHIF Oncology Cancer treatment package is one of the packages which has seen thousands of families save millions of shillings in hospital bills both in Kenya and abroad, given that cancer is one of the most expensive diseases to treat.

”NHIF thus strives to continually review its benefit packages and organize them towards providing support to all its members. These benefit packages aim to provide financial risk protection,” says Nicodemus Odongo, the NHIF Acting Chief Executive Officer.

The medical fund says that most cancer patients enrolled get access to treatment as the medical insurance pays for chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery and even diagnostic tests, such as MRIs and CT scans.

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Currently, the NHIF care package entails up to 10 chemotherapy sessions, oral and injectable anti-cancers drugs, inpatient and outpatient oncology services, 20 sessions for radio therapy, and up to two sessions for Brachytherapy for advanced cancer, per year.

Among the health facilities that offer the package include some level five and six hospitals, and selected private hospitals in urban centres.

NHIF covers six sessions for the first line treatment for up to Ksh25,000 per session, four sessions for the second and third line treatment for up to Ksh150,000 per session and 20 sessions of radiotherapy at Ksh3,600 per session.

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