TSC put to task over ‘casual’ handling of teachers insurance

Friday, May 17th, 2024 07:00 | By
KNUT Secretary-General, Collins Oyuu when he appeared before the Health Committee in the Senate. PHOTO/Kenna Claude
KNUT Secretary-General, Collins Oyuu when he appeared before the Health Committee in the Senate. PHOTO/Kenna Claude

The Senate Health Committee has questioned Teachers Service Commission (TSC) why it has been ‘casually’ handling teachers’ frustrations in the hands of medical service providers under the AON Minet insurance scheme.

This is after teachers complained about the quality of services and the frustrations they undergo while seeking medical services despite TSC having pumped Sh17.2billion in medical cover for teachers and their dependents.

Appearing before the Senate Health Committee yesterday, the teachers’ unions-(KNUT and Kuppet) and the TSC faced -off as the Senators heard how teachers are undergoing agony in the hands of the service providers.

AON Minet-the principal insurer in the multibillion contract that covers more than one million tutors and their family members was invited to the committee but failed to show up to explain why the teachers were not getting value for money.

Denied services

Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) Secretary General Akello Misori told the committee how teachers are being denied services yet they are being deducted medical allowance.

“Teachers are complaining that they are turned away from facilities when they visit a hospital within seven days of being discharged. Sick teachers have been forced to undergo pain as they wait for days for the firm to authorize the provision of services to the service providers,” said Misori.

He disclosed the insurer is either not paying or is doing so later in the day in the event of the death of a principal member, adding that teachers have been denied some services such as MRI services.

“The contract between TSC and Minet has been abused to the extent that teachers suffer The cover does not provide an education programme for teachers. Newly employed teachers do not understand the cover,” said the Kuppet boss.

Teachers’ defence

However, Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) Secretary General Collins Oyuu, instead of coming to the defence of the teachers, appeared to side with the employer-TSC, a move that irked the Senators.

“Teachers in my county have been restricted to one facility. Eldoret is the second-largest medical city in the country. How teachers are restricted to one facility baffles me. So Mr SG,  do you want to say that you have not heard any other complaints from teachers? posed Mandago.

In his response to the committee, Oyuu explained that the Union had no pending complaints from the teachers.

But the committee took Oyuu to task over his remarks, saying that there was no way his union could not have received the complaints yet it was in the public domain that several medical facilities have withdrawn AON minet services for teachers across the country.

Oyuu later admitted the complaints, adding that some subtracted service providers have become cheeky and no longer providing the services as required.

“Some of these issues we are talking about have been sorted but some service providers still go ahead to do otherwise,” admitted Oyuu.

According to the Knut boss, some providers still turn away patients who visit their facilities within the first seven days from the date of the initial visit. TSC acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Cheptumo Ayabei told the committee that the Commission has moved to address the complaints raised by the teachers.

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