Lawmakers demand effective plans to ensure UHC thrives

DODOMA: MEMBERS of Parliament have appealed for establishment of a proper mechanism of identifying the poor and needy people targeted for free services under the Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

Presenting their recommendations, the legislators indicated that while embarking on recognition of the group the government should be very keen.

Bunda Rural legislator, Boniface Getere (CCM) debating the UHC bill on Wednesday, noted that the scheme should bring respect to the country and not curse.

“As we sort and identify the poor people, a good plan should be put in place…we also expect that the enrolment will be affordable for many Tanzanians to access the crucial services,” said Mr Getere.

For his part, Kawe MP Josephat Gwajima (CCM) extended recognition to the government for ensuring the Bill is brought in the August house.

“Due to its importance, the house cannot continue dilly dallying to pass the bill for Tanzanian children, youths, women and poor people to get access to quality medical services,” noted Dr Gwajima.

The legislators said majority of their mobile phones have a pile of messages from their voters asking them to support medical bills for their loved ones or clear their debts for their deceased bodies to be released.

Mr Gwajima said that major strides have been reached by Tanzania in the provision of health care, noting that the country has scaled up accessibility to drugs from 60 per cent by August this year.

Major efforts have been made in increasing the number of healthcare workers in the country, reaching 50.4 per cent, citing the need to have a clear system to cover over 15 million Tanzanians who are in poverty and over 4 million who are in absolute poverty.

Kigamboni MP, Dr Faustine Ndugulile (CCM) observed that implementing the UHC is built on three foundations, which are accessibility to services, quality care and affordability.

He applauded the government for embarking on prevention through the identified sources for facilitating free services under the UHC.

“Among major problems in the country is the escalating number of people suffering from non-communicable diseases…imposing taxes on liquor, carbonated drinks and motor vehicle insurance fees may help to reduce the NCDs burden,” he noted.

Dr Ndugulile advised the government to allocate funds for intensive public awareness as it was done during the National Population and Housing Census of 2022, to increase people’s understanding.

Special Seats MP Bernadeta Mushashu commended the government for incorporating a large section of the views and opinions provided by the stakeholders and MPs, stressing that the socio-economic development of any country is manifested from a healthy population.

She said the new UHC bill will also accommodate more than four dependents including step children to ensure the family as a whole is covered.

“I am suggesting a law should be enacted to govern the special fund that will act as a source to the payment of poor people for its sustainability,” she stated.

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