What you need to know:
- Uganda is one of those countries that don’t have a national health insurance policy, a scheme that is supposed to enable its citizens access quality and affordable health services estimated at 41 percent of total expenditure on health.
Every Ugandan above 18 years of age will be mandated to contribute towards the National Health Insurance Scheme when it becomes operational, a top ministry of health official has said.
Dr Sarah Byakika, the commissioner Planning, Finance and Policy, however, did not reveal what method (s) government will use to ensure that every Ugandan in the target bracket contributes given that some people are stubborn and others unable to contribute due to poverty.
“Every Ugandan above the age of 18 must contribute to the health insurance policy. …soon the draft will be taken to Cabinet,”Dr Byakika said Wednesday at the Uganda National Conference on health, human rights and development organised by CEHURD in Kampala.
Prof Ben Twinomugisha, a law don at Makerere University, however, cautioned government to go slow on having every adult Ugandan to contribute to the scheme on grounds that there are several citizens who are too poor to afford.
“Why don’t we study the Rwanda health insurance scheme because poverty is a serious variable in these matters; we need to look into them,” Prof Twinomugisha cautioned.
Official figures indicate that about 92 per cent of Rwandan citizens are covered by their nation’s health insurance scheme, a policy celebrated widely as one of the most successful in the world.
At a premium of USD $8 (about Shs30,000) a year, the Rwandan health insurance scheme provides basic health services such as maternity care, and treatment for the most common causes of death, such as diarrhea, malnutrition, malaria, infections and pneumonia.
Uganda is one of those countries that don’t have a national health insurance policy, a scheme that is supposed to enable its citizens access quality and affordable health services estimated at 41 percent of total expenditure on health.
This has left many Ugandans struggling with the high medical expenses, forcing some to sell their property like land and livestock to foot the medical bills.
There have also been several media reports about health facilities detaining patients over unpaid medical bill.
The primary objective of the policy in offing is to remedy the very high out-of-pocket expenditure which Ugandans experience, estimated at 41 percent of total expenditure on health.
It’s hoped that the policy will be financed majorly through contributions made by employees defined as both salaried and self-employed people.