The Well being minister, Dr Jane Aceng, has mentioned the Nationwide Well being Insurance coverage Scheme (NHIS) Invoice might be re-tabled earlier than Parliament in two months for approval after her ministry has revised it.
Parliament first handed the NHIS Invoice, which seeks to supply common healthcare to all Ugandans, final yr regardless of calls by the Well being ministry to withdraw it for key changes.
Addressing legislators and scientists yesterday in Kampala, Dr Aceng mentioned the federal government bounced again the Invoice to the ministry for changes.
She mentioned some key stakeholders within the personal sector weren’t in settlement with provisions relating to the contributions to the NHIS and the way the funds might be managed with none taint of corruption.
“This Invoice went to Parliament, we tried to withdraw and afterward it was formally despatched again to us. It is because once we had a gathering with the President within the presence of a number of stakeholders. The stakeholders have been of the opinion that slicing cash from the salaries of staff isn’t honest. The problem of solidarity was not welcomed,” Dr Aceng mentioned.
“The employees are additionally complaining that they obtain too little after which once more we’re taking a look at sharing, the wealthy subsidising the poor. Individuals are not glad about that,” she added.
Within the Invoice, individuals employed within the formal sector are anticipated to contribute 4 p.c of their salaries backed up by one p.c from their employers. People within the casual sector are anticipated to contribute Shs100,000 yearly.
However the minister mentioned the business group mentioned asking them to complement their staff would improve the price of doing enterprise and the costs would go up.
“Who would pay for the indigents? Is it authorities? Will the indigents proceed receiving providers at no cost? Can individuals recognize providers after they don’t contribute something? These questions have been laid down on desk and the employees weren’t proud of what we submitted,” she mentioned.
Dr Aceng, nevertheless, mentioned they’ve finished many of the work to deal with the questions within the draft Invoice.
“We’re solely remaining with three extra consultations and the Invoice will come again. The settlement was that having solely few individuals subscribing isn’t acceptable. Each Ugandan and non-Ugandans who obtain well being providers in Uganda should subscribe. Insurance coverage needs to be for all the fundamental well being providers,” she mentioned.
“Even the outdated individuals should pay, even whether it is Shs5,000. The fee might be damaged down relying in your revenue. Boda bodas pays a specific amount, MPs, commissioners may also have specific quantity they are going to pay,” she added.
The heads of hospitals advised this newspaper that the federal government ought to choose a leaf from different East African international locations and expedite the operationalisation of the NHIS to entry to high quality well being care and save extra lives.
Dr Mahmoud El-gazar, the chief govt officer of Kibuli Muslim Hospital, mentioned there’s evident elevated entry to well timed, high quality and reasonably priced well being care by residents in international locations that had embraced the NHIS.
“The Nationwide Well being Insurance coverage is overdue, however higher late than by no means. We aren’t any completely different from Rwanda, Tanzania and Kenya who’ve taken it up. We must always emulate them,” he mentioned.
Uganda is alleged to be the one nation in East Africa that has not operationalised NHIS.
Dr Rosemary Byanyima, the deputy director of Mulago Nationwide Referral Hospital, mentioned the federal government ought to expedite the NHIS implementation to deal with frustrations sufferers face and produce down preventable deaths.
“Nationwide Well being Insurance coverage Scheme will improve well being financing. This may allow hospitals, even these upcountry, to be outfitted with machines like CT scan so that they don’t journey as much as Mulago Hospital for the providers,” she mentioned.
Dr Byanyima, nevertheless, urged the federal government to refine the implementation methods, particularly the monitoring side, to create a strong confidence in Ugandans in direction of the scheme.
Dr Celestine Barigye, the Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital director, mentioned the NHIS will tackle out of pocket spending, a vital bottleneck in entry to high quality providers, particularly amongst those that can not afford it.
Specialised providers excluded
Dr Ruth Aceng mentioned specialised providers won’t be a part of the NHIS as a result of they’re very costly. “They’ll have a separate insurance coverage. For fundamental insurance coverage, it’s for all of us however for the specialised, it’s one other class. After that, we will be on the identical web page with everybody,” she mentioned. “The subsequent problem is easy methods to gather the funds. safely gather the funds and direct to areas of want with out corruption, are the final discussions. Once we are finished with that, perhaps within the one or two months, we are going to take it [the draft Bill] to cupboard after which to Parliament,” the minister added.