Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Health Ministry is waiting for a slot in cabinet to discuss the universal health insurance bill before forwarding it to parliament discussion.
The Health State Minister in Charge of General Duties, Sarah Achieng Opendi disclosed this while addressing reporters in Kampala Friday.
She explained that it has taken government up to 12 years to come with the bill of what they think can draw consensus from different stakeholders, including employers on the issue of universal health insurance.
Opendi said they hope this can be done in the first half of the 2019/2020 financial year to allow government to mobilise resources for drugs and increase funding to the National Medical Stores to avoid drug stock outs.
The Universal health insurance scheme means every Ugandan would be covered and wouldn’t need money to access health services and medicines in hospitals.
In East Africa, Rwanda has significantly advanced universal health coverage with its community-based health insurance program under, which most of its citizens are covered.
Ugandans spend a significant amount of their income on health, which means it diminishes their ability to save for other things. Out-of-pocket expenses on health have also been blamed for the increasing poverty incidences in some communities.
According to the national health accounts report for 2014/15 to 2015/16 financial years, “even with free services at public facilities, the share of Household expenditure spent in public health facilities was between 14.1% and 17.5% in the period under review, which was significantly at a low side.”
“Evidence indicates that inadequate resources to deliver health services in public facilities to some extent indirectly impacts on the amount of household expenditure on health,” the report said.