How health insurance scheme supports locals

Some beneficiaries of the health insurance scheme attend a meeting in Nawaikona Sub-county, Namutumba District, at the weekend. PHOTO/YAHUDDU KITUNZI

What you need to know:

  • The scheme helps families access quality healthcare at an affordable price.

A community health insurance scheme is helping locals in Namutumba District access better healthcare.

Speaking during a meeting at Bukonte Health Centre III, a private facility, last Friday, locals said the scheme has helped them spend less on healthcare.

Ms Rashida Nakiwala, a resident of Nakawunzo Village in Nawaikona Sub-county, said she paid Shs28,000 as health insurance cover to benefit seven of her family members in 2020, but since then, she has not registered any regret. 

“Whenever my family members fall sick, the health insurance scheme clears the bill. It has helped my family and many other members,’’ Ms Nakiwala said.

Ms Abisagi Mugwabi, 62, a resident of Nakawunzo Village in Nawaikona Sub-county, who is also a member of the insurance scheme, said it should be rolled out countrywide.

“We ask that the scheme be rolled out in the entire country as one way of limiting out-of-pocket spending, which is very stressing. The scheme is affordable to everyone,” Ms Mugwabi said.

The Namutumba District health educator, Mr Ronald Balisanyuka, said the scheme has helped poor people.

“The families are now able to get quality health service care at an affordable price,”Mr Balisanyuka said.
Mr Dominic Sabuka, the vice chairperson of Bukonte Health Centre III, said: “When someone is sick, he or she pays a medical bill of Shs3,000 for out-patients while admissions goes for Shs23,000.”

Dr Johnson Sonyiwa, the in-charge of Bukonte Health Centre III, said more than 836 residents of Namutumba have subscribed to the scheme.

“We face drug stock outs due to high turn up of beneficiaries,” Dr Sonyiwa said.

The scheme, which started in November 2020, is coordinated by Action-Aid Uganda and funded by the European Union (EU).

Mr James Samuel Ameda, the fundraising coordinator for Action-Aid Uganda, said the insurance scheme is one of the ways of trying to make healthcare affordable for the rural people.

“We bench marked this from an already existing insurance scheme and realised that there is something we could pick that could impact and transform the health and lives of people of eastern Uganda,”Mr Ameda said.

He said they considered the current development indicators in the region, which shows high levels of poverty, poor thinking behaviours and high level of child marriages. 

“For this particular scheme, the initial target was 436 members, but as of today, 836 members are benefiting from the project. They receive outpatient services, minor surgeries and admission at the facility at a minimum fee,” he said.