PS wants greater public awareness in universal health insurance

PERMANENT Secretary (PS) for Health Ministry, Prof Abel Makubi, said accomplishing universal health insurance requires greater awareness to members of the public before the programme kicks off on July 1, 2023.

Addressing directors of public health facilities here over the weekend, the Permanent Secretary said so far, at least 15.3 per cent of the public were covered by the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF).

“Every director should raise awareness to members of staff and the public in general about health insurance cover , so that no one is left out of the programme,” said Prof Makubi, while delivering a speech to open a meeting with directors of public health facilities at the Benjamin Mkapa Hospital (BMH).

Prof Makubi informed directors of the public health facilities that public awareness was vital for every member of the public, to view the importance of joining the universal health insurance programme.

Prof Makubi said households will pay 28,400/- per month, an equivalent to 340,000/- for the universal health insurance, saying the government has borrowed a leaf of experience from UK, Sweden and USA to implement the programme.

“For those who have not, we will use the TASAF (Tanzania Social Action Fund) and Community Development systems to include them into the programme,” he said.

Prof Makubi explained that a single person will fork out 84,000/- per year in universal health coverage.

Prof Makubi said the universal health coverage will be regulated by the Tanzania Insurance Regulatory Authority (TIRA), saying members of the public will require National Identity Card (NIDA) to join the programme.

On his part, Executive Director of the BMH, Dr Alphonce Chandika, who was one the participants in the meeting, expressed gratitude to the government to starting the universal health programme.

“The new programme will release the burden to the ‘wananchi’ to get access to the health services,” said Dr Chandika.

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