National Health Insurance Scheme Bill approved by cabinet
Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Cabinet has approved the National Health Insurance Scheme Bill. The decision was reached at a Uganda Government Cabinet meeting at State House Entebbe on Monday 24th, 2019.
According to Sarah Byakika, the Commissioner Planning, Financing and Policy in the Health Ministry, the scheme is meant to improve the provision and access of Health services to all Ugandans.
“The bill is also intended to facilitate the provision of accessible, affordable acceptable and quality healthcare services to citizens irrespective of their age, economic, health and social status. It is also to develop health insurance as a complementary mechanism of healthcare financing and ensure efficiency in healthcare services,” she said.
Byakika said the scheme will ensure that residents have access to equitable, affordable and quality healthcare services.
Government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo says if passed into law, the bill shall make it mandatory for every Ugandan above 18 years to pay for the National health insurance.
Similar to other Insurance schemes, it involves saving and depositing money with an insurance company such that when one is sick, they can receive health services without picking money from their pockets.The National Health Insurance Scheme will be implemented in an integrated approach through social and private community based health insurance schemes.
Government also hopes that through this scheme, it will be able to mobilize funds to subsidize the cost of provision of healthcare services to the population and the indigents in particular and be in position to promote social protection by protecting households from catastrophic health expenditures (impoverishing payments incurred when they access health services.
Byakika explains that currently, over 41% of expenditure on health services is out of pocket expenditure by households while 42% is spent by donors and government only contributes 15 % of the total expenditure.
She says the scheme is very important because a healthy life is not always guaranteed and people need to be prepared for when they fall sick such that they don’t hustle to find money for health care.