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National Health Insurance Scheme is overdue – Experts weigh in

Dr.Ekwaro Obuku the President Uganda Medical workers said Mandatory health insurance is important for the success of any insurance scheme. (PHOTO/File)

KAMPALA– The Ugandan cabinet recently approved a National Health Insurance Scheme that will require every Ugandan to contribute to a pool of funds, from which they will get several health benefits.

Employed Ugandans informal employment will be expected to contribute 4% of their monthly salary through a monthly deduction.

“Mandatory health insurance is important for the success of any insurance scheme. It operates under a spirit of solidarity meaning those who are working pay for those who are not working because you never know, time will come and you may not be able to work,” said Dr.Ekwaro Obuku the president Uganda Medical workers.

He added that the scheme would create healthy competition within the medical sector basing on its pay-for-performance policy.

According to Ggoobi Ramathan an Economist at the Makerere University Business School in Nakawa, the mandatory health insurance is a burden to the already heavily taxed income of a struggling Ugandan employee.

“A person who pays 40% Pay as You Earn (PAYE), 5% NSSF tax and now 4% medical insurance has already spent half of his salary on just taxes,” said Ggoobi.

However, he appreciated the fact that though the medical insurance scheme was overdue, it supports the NSSF proposal that the employer pays 1% and the employee pays 1%  over and above the 15% to help the government implement the National Health insurance scheme.

According to Ggobi, the NSSF proposal would also accommodate Ugandans in the informal sector at the time running at 1%. This would mean they contribute only 1300shillings per month to get enrolled into the system.

This scheme comes at a time when the 2021 elections are due which drawn criticism from some Ugandans calling it a masqueraded political move has.

The AAR’s Chief Operations Officer, Muhammed Ssebale believes that the system will be of benefit to them as private health insurance players.

Ugandans in general stand to benefit from the medical scheme which will also cater for the unemployed citizens.

As a result, the health insurance companies are coming up with creative and innovative ways of attracting customers.

AAR as an example plans to give out diet tips to Ugandans on a weekly basis including free monthly nutritional classes.

“We are going to give nutritional classes on a monthly basis so that people can know what a nutritious meal is.” Revealed AAR’s Chief Operations Officer, Muhammed Ssebale.

In the wake of this new National Insurance Health Scheme, it is hoped that all Ugandans will be able to easily and freely access standard health Services.

 

Written by  Eric Emlyn Okoth

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