Makerere University lecturers have urged government to fast-track the enacting of the health insurance Bill into law, saying many Ugandans can’t afford good health services.
Justifying the need to have a health insurance policy in the country, Law don Prof Ben Twinomugisha said health care has been turned into a commodity.
“There are several health insurance policies. In Tanzania, every citizen contributes about Shs10,000 annually while in Rwanda, government covers almost 97 per cent and when a peasant falls sick, they get the same treatment as top officials,” he added.
The law don was speaking at a conference organised by Centre for Health, Human Rights and Development, a civil society organisation, at Makerere University last Friday. The conference was held under the theme: “Accessing healthcare in a commercialised sector”.
Another Makerere law don, Prof Jean Barya, urged Ugandans to get their own health insurance policy.
About 13 years ago, government developed a health insurance policy but the Bill has never been passed into law. In July, Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda, while addressing journalists in Kampala, revealed that government was in the final stages of enacting a health insurance policy.
According to the Health ministry, the scheme will cover about 25 per cent of Ugandans, whereby civil servants and formally employed Ugandans will contribute 4 per cent of their gross salary while employers will add 4 per cent, bringing the total contribution to 8 per cent.
Uganda is the only country in East Africa without a clear health insurance policy with a small section of working Ugandans getting their health insurance care coverage through their employers.