18 May 2019

Tanzania: Govt to Table Bill for Obligatory Health Insurance

Dodoma — COME September this year, the government is expected to table in the National Assembly, a bill that will compel all Tanzanians to enrol in the mandatory health insurance for all.

Deputy Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Dr Faustine Ndugulile, told the National Assembly yesterday that in looking for solutions facing the health sector, especially Health Sector Financing, the government was undertaking several initiatives.

Among them, is Single National Health Insurance, where the contribution was compulsory for all people with financial capability. "According to various researches conducted within the ministry, the initiative will help in boosting financial resources in the health sector, which will help to provide services, including to elders who need free services," he said.

The deputy minister was responding to a question by Special Seats MP, Fakharia Khamis, who demanded to know the strategies put in place in ensuring that old men and women were accessing free health care.

Dr Ndugulile asked all health facilities to have a special window that will be offering services to elders, asking all district councils to avail to them special identity cards that will help them to access free health care services.

In helping all people in the country to access medical services, the deputy minister said the government will in the next parliamentary meeting table a bill that will compel all Tanzanians to have an insurance cover.

In other countries, reports show that two low income countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have achieved high health insurance coverage.

They are Rwanda and Ghana. The coverage may have increased further in recent times. In Tanzania, only about 30 per cent of the people can access health insurance, according to current government data. The rest, over 35 million people, are forced to dig into their pockets when they want to access services at health facilities.

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