Health Ministry unveils plans to rescue NHIF

The Ministry of Health is in the final stage of enacting an Inclusive Health Insurance Act to rescue the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF).

Health Minister, Ummy Mwalimu disclosed this in Dodoma on Thursday when addressing reporters saying NHIF is currently sailing through challenges due to a small number of members.

“If the health insurance becomes voluntary only patients will join…but our goal is to increase the number of members in the fund where we believe that most of them will not be patients. So, if we make it mandatory the majority of Tanzanians will be able to contribute to the fund…NHIF is for the majority who are well to contribute to the minority who get sick,” the minister said.

Elaborating, she said the Ministry plans to devise a means whereby all-important services in the country such as National ID, license, passport, SIM cards and others will be linked to the health insurance as a strategy to get more people to join the scheme.

“The ministry has suggested it to the government so we are still waiting for the answer,” she said.

According to the minister, by June, this year NHIF had only 4.8 million members out of the total population of approximately 60 million people in the country and that as of 2011/2012 the fund started with 691,000 members.

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