GoK To Cushion Police Officers Who Exhaust NHIF Covers Limits

By Jane Muia / Published May 11, 2022 | 5:14 pm



police

The government has set aside 200 million shillings to cushion police officers who exhaust their annual National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) cover limits.

Under the arrangement, police officers who exhaust their yearly benefits but still need medical services are required to make ex gratia claims through a committee constituted by the Inspector General of police Hillary Mutyambai.

NHIF will release a list of eligible officers who meet the requirements for the initiative, in the 2020/21 financial year, after which the funds will be released.

“The Government is working to fast track compensation for duty-related injuries & deaths of police officers. Interior PS Karanja Kibicho told Public Accounts Committee of national Assembly officers who exhaust medical cover will be cushioned subject to NHIF reconciled records,’’ The ministry of Interior said in a statement.

Interior Principal Secretary (PS) Karanja Kibicho attributed delays in the completion of several police stations to budgetary constraints. These include police stations in Buna (Wajir), Laisamis (Marsabit), Mbalambala (Garissa), and South Nyanza (Migori).

Kibicho however revealed that outstanding claims amounting to 5.2 billion shillings have been reconciled. He pledged the Ministry will settle an outstanding balance of 2.9 billion shillings in the 2022/23 financial year.

This comes at a time when police suicide and murder rates are on rising. At least three suicide cases involving police officers are recorded every month. This has been attributed to stress at work but is that so?

For instance, in October last year, a 52-year-old policeman died by suicide in his house in Nairobi.  Senior sergeant Elias Kirimo was found dead in his house in Kasarani.  In April of the same year, General Service Unit officer Hudson Wakise shot and killed his wife, Pauline Wakasa, before turning the gun on himself.

This was followed by brutal acts of police constable Caroline Kangogo who murdered two people including her colleague in Nakuru town In July. Kangogo was a suspect in the killing of the two, including police constable John Ogweno in Nakuru on July 5. She later allegedly shot dead Peter Ndwiga Njiru, 32, in lodging in Juja, Kiambu county, after which she gunshot herself inside a bathroom in their home in Elgeyo Marakwet.

The issue of death among police officers raised an uproar among members of the public, bringing to a launch of counseling services by the government which sought to evaluate, design, and leads an outreach program that would help prevent mental illness and substance abuse.

The partnership that involved a team of the Police Service and Health Specialists aimed at training senior officers on ways of dealing with mental issues in order to combat the rising mental health cases among police officers which are taking a toll on the officers’ performance.

This further resulted in a medical examination conducted among members of the National Police Service which found 2,000 police officers mentally unfit to serve. But why are the cases only reported in the police service? What could be the issue making the police force commit suicide instead of seeking help?

Among the factors that Mutyambai attributed to the rising cases of mental instability include corruption during recruitment as well as a lack of social support system, highlighting the importance of having stable officers in the service. The IG pointed out the high risk posed especially when the officers are in the custody of guns.

‘’Our tool of work is the gun, and when one bullet is discharged, the implications are serious,’’ He said.






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