On 5th November, 2019, community Health Insurance (CHI) promoters led by Save for Health Uganda (SHU) presented their position paper on the National Health Insurance (NHIS) Bill 2019, to the Health Committee of Parliament chaired by Dr. Michael Bukenya.
The position paper was coauthored by five CHI promoters that included Save for Health Uganda,Uganda Community Based Health Financing Association (UCBHFA),HealthPartners Uganda (HPU),Uganda Protestant Medical Bureau (UPMB) and Bwindi Hospital.
The team that represented the above organisations was led by SHU's Executive Director, Mr. Makaire Fredrick, who expressed commitment to support the process of enacting the NHIS law through sharing experiences and lessons from their CHI work.
CHI promoters made the following key proposals in the position paper for purposes of achieving a fair NHIS law that will benefit every resident in Uganda and contribute towards achieving universal health coverage (UHC):
- The NHIS is long overdue and we pray that it is passed quickly and implemented.
- Community health insurance schemes should be recognized and promoted as an important component of the NHIS that will enrol beneficiaries and collect contributions from the informal sector.
- The NHIS should manage a single pool of funds for all contributors to provide a comprehensive benefit package and guarantee equity in accessing the benefits.
- Contributions to be made to the Scheme should depend on a contributor’s capacity to pay; contributions for the poor should be subsidised by government, donors or the wealthy while contributions for indigents should be fully paid by the Government.
- Members of the Board of the Scheme who are not representing Ministries should be identified through a fair process by a public advertisement and interviewed by the Public Service Commission.
- To guarantee quality of care and accountability, all healthcare providers including government owned should be subjected to the same accreditation process and criteria before they are contracted by the Scheme.
- To improve access being one of the main objectives of the Scheme, all benefits of the Scheme should be accessed and portable across the country.
- To protect the Fund from abuse and mismanagement, all penalties for offences relating to fraud, dishonesty and embezzlement of funds must be deterrent.