Educationists renew demand for health insurance scheme

Prince Nakibinge Kassim (L) and Dr Mahood Kakooza Elgazal (C) hand over an ward to  one of the dignitaries at the graduatipon ceremony. PHOTO/ MALIK FAHAD JJINGO 

What you need to know:

  • Kibuli Muslim Hospital Health Training School’s chief executive officer, Dr Mahood Kakooza Elgazel said there’s urgent need for operationalization of the health insurance scheme if the country is to address the challenges frustrating access to medical services.

Educationists have echoed the demand for operationalization of national health insurance scheme in the country.
Kibuli Muslim Hospital Health Training School’s chief executive officer, Dr Mahood Kakooza Elgazel said there’s urgent need for operationalization of the health insurance scheme if the country is to address the challenges frustrating access to medical services.
According to him, Ugandans are in dare need of the health insurance scheme and asking the government to expedite the process of making this vision realised so that health service delivery can be improved in the country.

"The world embraced this programme and several neighboring countries embraced this programme as well and it's high time we also embraced it since Ugandans need health services and health insurance scheme is the answer. This programme is long overdue. We have been attending meetings to this effect but it's now almost 17 years down the road we have not yet realised it. I’m surprised that neighboring countries have all embraced it and Uganda still lags behind. We want to remind government that this is a priority, and something should be done about it because healthy citizens make a healthy nation," Dr Kakooza said during the school’s seventh graduation ceremony on Friday.

He also revealed that the institution is in final stages of introducing new programme of radiography given the challenge of the lack of sufficient radiographers in the country.
Minister for Kampala Capital City and Metropolitan Affairs who represented Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja, lauded the role of private sector in improving health services in the country.

"The government recognises the role of private and nonprofit making institutions in the health and other sectors and we pledge support to this noble cause. To the graduands, always be professional in exercising your duties as health workers. You made vows to love and to serve. Always live by this commitment and even if there is no money, we would not expect nurses to strike for salaries because you vowed to love and serve to save lives," she added.
The ceremony was also attended by the titular head of Muslim community in Uganda, Prince Kassim Nakibinge and the Supreme Mufti Sheikh Muhammad Shaban Galabuzi , among others.
The school graduated over 300 students in various disciplines, including nursing, midwifery and laboratory technology.

The proposed decision for all Ugandans to contribute to the national scheme- whether formally or informally employed, means all persons who currently enjoy any sort of insurance will have to pay a set premium. 
According to figures from the health ministry, 5 percent of the country's population is insured on private insurance schemes, while more than 200,000 Ugandans are enrolled in different community schemes across the country.
According to the proposed bill, all Ugandans whether they are insured privately or on Community Health Insurance schemes will pay an annual premium outside of what they pay in their respective schemes.

While the amount to be paid by all Ugandans is still being determined by the Ministry of Health and the Uganda Insurance Regulatory Authority, it is estimated that persons who are informally employed will pay between 100,000 to 150,000 shillings annually.

The premiums for persons formally employed will however be deducted based on what one earns. At the moment, employees will contribute 4 percent of their salaries. The premiums deducted will be based on information from the Uganda Revenue Authority and the National Social Security Fund that will reveal how much is earned.


 

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