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Gov’t to retable National Health Insurance bill

Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, the Minister of Health

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Minister of Health has revealed that the National Health Insurance Scheme Bill will be re-tabled.

The Bill was on 31st March 2021 passed by Parliament but President Yoweri Museveni declined to assent to it due to disagreements among some stakeholders.

It was then reported that private companies were not comfortable with some financial obligations in the Bill and the requirement that the employer contributes 50 percent of the employee’s total contribution to the scheme.

In a statement to Members of Parliament on Thursday, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, the Minister of Health said that the Ministry had only one issue with the Bill that they needed to be settled by the Attorney General.

“That is between the Insurance Regulatory Authority and the Ministry of Health on the regulation. After that, and I believe at the end of this week we will have concluded,” Aceng said in part.

Aceng added that they shall take the Paper back to Cabinet and that she was hopeful that the Bill would be tabled on the floor of Parliament by the end of next month.

The Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among said that the Bill should be returned to Parliament. Among said that she is happy that the Ministry has concluded its consultations.

She had earlier in her communication to the House demanded that the proposed law which was withdrawn from Parliament is returned back.

“Tell us, why was it withdrawn?…can we have that Bill back in the House and we legislate on it? We had actually finished, but we need reasons as to why it was withdrawn and why we should not pass it. We need that Bill back,” Among said.

The Health Insurance Bill sought to provide health care for all Ugandans at an affordable cost with funding from Ugandans both in the formal and informal sectors.

Those employed in the formal sector were supposed to contribute 4 percent of their salaries backed by a one percent contribution from their employers. Individuals in the informal sector were supposed to contribute 100,000 Shillings annually.

In April 2021, the Minister of Health was quoted saying that the Health Insurance Bill passed by parliament did not favor all Ugandans.

She then said that they needed to include the changes agreed upon with stakeholders after making consultations and one of the proposed changes was for all Ugandans, regardless of their employment status, to pay a certain amount of money to access health care.

The other changes agreed upon include using available tax collection agencies to collect the monies for the scheme.

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