Cabinet to discuss Health Bill

Thursday July 30 2015

Expectant mothers speak to a nurse outside the maternity

Expectant mothers speak to a nurse outside the maternity ward at Iganga hospital recently. Photo by Rachel Mabala  

By EMMANUEL AINEBYOONA

Kampala- Cabinet is due to discuss the National Health Insurance Bill after the Ministry of Finance committed to grant the Health ministry a certificate of financial implications.

The certificate of financial implications shows that there are funds for the implementation of the Bill once it has been passed into law and it is a requirement before any Bill is tabled in Parliament for first reading.

The National Health Insurance Bill 2007, was hatched about 13 years ago and has to date not been tabled in Parliament.

The Bill, however, if passed into law, will make it mandatory for civil servants and formally employed Ugandans to make mandatory contributions to a National Social Health Insurance (SHI) scheme.

In an interview on the sidelines of a dialogue between MPs and the Ministry of Health officials on Tuesday, Mr Rogers Enyaku, an assistant commissioner budget and finance, told Daily Monitor, that the issues that were raised by the Ministry of Finance contributing to the delay of the Bill’s implementation have been harmonised.

“The Bill was sent back to us after issues were raised on costing and sustaining the health insurance fund,” said Mr Enyaku.
He added that the Finance ministry also wanted to know the administrative value cost of the scheme to Parliament.

“We had a meeting with the Ministry of Finance and agreed to work on the response which will enrich the scheme such that we end this back and forth with the Bill,” Mr Enyaku explained.

“In three weeks, we are expected to send the Bill back to the Finance ministry to be submitted to Cabinet and later to Parliament,” Mr Enyaku said.

Dr Jotham Musinguzi, the Regional Director of Partners in Population and Development Africa Regional Office (PPD ARO) who organised the dialogue, said there is need to have the health insurance law before the start of the next financial year.
“The national Health Insurance scheme is key in accessing medical care and reproductive health services and products for those people who cannot afford healthcare,” Dr Musinguzi noted. He said the purpose of the meeting was to engage MPs on what is lacking since the Bill has overstayed.

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