Teachers have called for the abolition of the AON Minet medical scheme, claiming that they are unable to obtain adequate medical care.
Nation reports that the insurer has refused to pay medical bills, forcing some teachers to pay for treatment out of their own pockets. The said teachers complained that some of the hospitals listed by the scheme are inaccessible to wheelchair-bound patients due to their location in tall buildings, while others are far from teachers’ homes.
They also complained that scan approvals were taking too long, forcing teachers to give up and seek treatment at unaccredited hospitals.
AON Minet Gives Teachers Upto 31st Of October To Change Dependants. The Kenya National Teachers Pressure Group, a lobby made up of teachers from primary and secondary schools as well as teacher training colleges, is putting pressure on the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to repeal the medical scheme or replace it with a better one.
TSC, according to group spokesperson Martha Omollo, a Nairobi-based teacher, forced teachers to register with AON Minet without allowing them to participate in the process of identifying and selecting the scheme administrator and health provider. “Forcing teachers into the AON Minet medical scheme was unconstitutional, and a violation of the TSC Act (2012) and the code of regulations for teachers;’ said Ms Omollo.
Mr Salvin Munene (Eastern), Mr Nelson Kirui (Rift Valley), Ms Eva Muchemi (Nairobi), Ms Betty Koech (Rift Valley), Ms Ann Wanyoike (Nairobi), Mr Mwangi Kinyua (Nakuru), and Mr Fanuel Ambole are also members of the group (Machakos). “AON Minet is a cash cow for union officials and the TSC. No serious hospital has been approved except a few private hospitals that are not accessible to all teachers;’ said a teacher.
According to the teachers, approvals for treatment at some large hospitals can take up to a month. On Sunday, a Kisumu County secondary school teacher lost her 16-month-old baby after AON Minet delayed approving the baby’s referral to a better hospital.
Moses Mbora, the Nairobi branch secretary of Kuppet, admitted that teachers have faced serious challenges when seeking treatment using the AON Minet medical card. Mr Mbora stated that the majority of the difficulties faced by teachers are due to approval delays and some hospitals overcharging. He claims that teachers with chronic illnesses and expectant mothers give birth before 37 weeks are frequently overcharged.
Some approved hospitals, according to teachers, lack drugs, while the medical scheme refuses to pay bills for some hospitals in some cases. There are no doctors in the majority of the approved hospitals, and patients are cared for by nurses.
According to TSC, the teachers’ medical scheme covers over 1 million people, including 332,000 registered teachers and their dependents. Inpatient, outpatient, optical, dental, maternity, group life, and last expense (funeral) expenses are all covered by the medical plan.
Teachers can also travel outside of the country for medical treatment under the scheme, which has approved over 500 hospitals and clinics across the country. The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has been supporting the medical scheme of teachers, claiming it is the best of its kind in the region.
Last year TSC termed accusations that some teachers are being humiliated by service AON Minet as baseless. TSC chief executive Nancy Macharia stated that claims of teachers being embarrassed when seeking services are false. She appended that AON Minet Insurance has no daily limit on outpatient services.
She said an examination of the advantages confirms that the teacher’s medical scheme is better than what is enjoyed by most public workers in Kenya and the region.
Mrs Macharia stated the scheme comprises of a wide range of services and that the yearly allocations for every component are sufficient to cover the principal member and 5 dependants.