Bunge kicks off today as key bills set for debate

THE ninth session of the Parliament starts here today, as two key Bills of Universal Health Insurance (UHI) and Personal Data Protection were lined up for debate ahead of their second reading.

The two Bills went for the first reading in the Parliament, which sat last September, and then the documents went for a public hearing.

Over a fortnight ago, when the National Assembly issued a statement about the Parliamentary Committees’ activities ahead of the ninth session of the Parliament, it revealed that the committees would prepare reports for tabling in the ninth session, including on public views on the four Bills, which were read for the first time in the previous session.

This session was preceded by meetings of the 15 Parliamentary committees.

Out of the 15 committees, eight committees are expected to present their reports on activities carried out from October 10-30 this year.

The two Bills– Universal Health Insurance (UHI) and Personal Data Protection have since been tabled for the first reading and attracted huge public interest and debate.

The government is optimistic that the UHI would be a solution in ensuring that every Tanzanian has access to quality healthcare services.

Data indicate that by 2021 out of about 60 million Tanzanians, only 15 per cent of them were covered, which means out of every 100 Tanzanians, 15 are covered.

Therefore, to get all Tanzanians onboard, the UHI membership card will be made as part of the prerequisites to access some public services.

For instance, it will be compulsory for citizens to have health insurance whenever seeking driving license, motor vehicles insurance and admitting children for advanced secondary education or colleges.

Other services that will also be issued after producing evidence of being enrolled in health insurance schemes are provision of travel document (passport), Taxpayers Identification Number (TIN), business license, visa, sim card registration and provision of national identification card (ID), the Bill proposes.

On the part of Personal Data Protection Bill, the government looks forward to addressing challenges associated with the law and thus making it sound for users.

As more and more social and economic activities shift to online platforms, the importance of privacy and data protection was increasingly inevitable.

Of equal concern was the collection, use, and sharing of personal information to third parties without notice or consent of consumers.

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