HEALTH and Child Care Minister Dr Obadiah Moyo has assured the nation that the National Health Insurance Scheme will be up and running by January next year.
By Kudakwashe Pembere
He told journalists on the sidelines of the World Health Day Commemorations on Friday that plans to realise Universal Health Coverage through this health scheme are well on course.
“With universal health coverage we are looking at national health insurance. We have already started on the national health insurance scheme. Our plans are very well advanced now working together with the Ministry of Labour and Social Services. This has been on the ground over the past 16 years but we want to make sure that we get the national health insurance established so that we will be able to provide universal health coverage,” he said.
He said they are looking at establishing this National Health Insurance scheme by January next year.
“The initial team working with consultants has already done its job. It has done its initial investigations and they have come up with a document. After that document e have set up as per recommendations form that consultancy, we have now set up a special steering committee. So we want up to January next year, we want to see the national health insurance scheme kicking off, taking off and everybody being able to access that national health insurance. So universal health coverage in Zimbabwe is going to be a reality as a result of the creation of the national health insurance,” said the Health Minister.
The Health Minister paid homage to medical aid societies saying they will cover those at higher levels.
“The existing schemes of the medical aid societies also play a major role, and they will continue to play that major role because they are people who have the capability to be able to access services at a higher level,” Dr Moyo said.
Deputy director of policy and planning in the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Mr Tonderai Kadzere said the health insurance will be mandatory.
How are we deconstructing universal health coverage in Zimbabwe? So in Zimbabwe, the question Honourable Minister is how do we get access for the services? That’s the first thing. Are we able to get access? So there are two strategies.
“Number one is to enhance our financial protection mechanisms. I know most of us might recall that Zimbabwe has been struggling to establish national health insurance for the past 16 years. And I’m seeing WHO are here, they can testify that a country outside the National Health Insurance, forget about Universal Health Coverage. So we are also grateful, this is one of the current reformations that we are having in terms of looking at National Health Insurance.
“And in that the Ministry is not moving alone, that is why we also have the ministry of labour and social services and also the ministry of finance. So we now have a concrete roadmap to develop a national health insurance for Zimbabwe which is going to be mandatory. And for that the principle is solidarity. That the rich need to subsidize for the poor. Those who are well must be subsidized for those who are unwell. And Im sure all us as Zimbabweans with Ubuntu we are going to implement that,” he said.