The Ugandan government has apologised for delayed enactment of the National Health Insurance Scheme Bill into law which would allow Ugandans have affordable medical care.
In July 2017, the Ministry of Finance awarded a certificate of financial implications to the National Health Insurance Bill, 2012 paving way for the creation of the National Health Insurance Scheme, but up to date it has not been tabled before Parliament for its processing into law. The proposed plan is to have the scheme financed by 4 percent monthly contributions from an employee’s earnings, with the employer contributing an additional 4 percent.
Appearing before the Health committee of parliament on Thursday to defend the Ministry’s Ministerial Policy Statement, the Minister of State for Health in charge of General Duties, Sarah Opendi Opendi said that as government they apologize for having taken long to table the Bill and pass it into law.
This was after Julius Ochen, the Shadow Minister for Health asked the Minister about the National Health Insurance Scheme Bill yet Finance Ministry issued the certificate of financial implication.
With countries in the region already having health insurance schemes, Uganda is yet to introduce a National Health Insurance Scheme.
Opendi stated that this law is in process and it will give alternative funding to the health sector which has failed to have 15% of the national budget as required by the Abuja declaration.
She further revealed that cabinet approved the scaling down of the budget required to construct a health centre Three to Shs600 million, down from Shs1.8 billion.
She explained that the figure was revised after learning that development partners use between Shs500 and Shs600 million to establish some health centres in some parts of the country.
The shadow Health Minister Ochen asked government to consider over taxing health hazardous items so that the revenue is allocated to the health sector.