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EAC Delegates hold conference on social health protection

m_EAC Delegates hold conference on social health protection

Expectant mothers benefit greatly from paying insurance premiums

Delegates from East African Community partner states convened in Kigali, on 7th July to discuss the validation of the draft report of the Situational analysis and feasibility study of options for harmonization of social health protection systems towards universal health coverage in East Africa.

The objective is to validate a report of the situational analysis and feasibility study of options for harmonization of social health protection systems towards universal coverage in the East African community partner states

Dr. Odette Nyiramirimo, member of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) noted that every person has the right to have access to health care without having to suffer from financial burdens.

“The more people pay health bills from their pockets, the more families get poorer that’s why social health protection must be empowered.”

Participants discussed various challenges in Social Health Protection (SHP) and recommended for partner states to develop a regional strategy for harmonizing strengthened Social Health Protection, quality standards, and country capacity development.

Cohesion of stakeholders and recognition of various sectors roles were also highly recommended as an important component of harmonization

“When it comes to social health protection, ensuring that people are not falling into poverty seeking care, Rwanda stands as the best example,” Dr. Angelique Rwiyereka, SHP consultant

Regional forums and studies on social health protection were proposed by EAC Ministers of Health in 2012 to share best practices and analyze and support social health protection (SHP) policies.

Beyond strengthening the implementation of the common market and honoring the right to health, social protection is one of the mechanisms for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015, a goal which all EAC member States are striving to achieve.

Apart from mainstream health insurance, Rwanda developed a home grown and community based health policy known as ‘Mutuelle de Sante’- which is a profound health insurance policy that the government has supported and gotten the citizens involved in through premiums contributions done annually.

Membership is voluntary and payment of premiums is based on economic status. The program was first introduced in 2004. By 2010, 91% of the Rwanda population was insured through Mutuelles de Sante. Rwandans can access health care at all public and non-profit health centers in Rwanda, but the Mutuelles de Sante member’s package does not include coverage at private health centers.

90.7% of Rwandans made their contribution during the last financial year and call upon everyone to make their contribution ahead of time so that they may have access to health care without any hindrances.” Today, it covers over 90 % of the population of 12million Rwandans.

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