Harare City Introduces Health Insurance

By Kudakwashe Pembere

A community health insurance scheme covering several health services for Harare City’s citizens should be operational before the month ends, HealthTimes has learned.

In an interview with the Harare Municipality Health Services Manager Mr Richard Chigerwe, he said the scheme was different from the Harare Municipality Medical Aid which covers their employees.

He said residents will have to pay a monthly subscription of US$2 to access various healthcare services under the scheme named “Utano Wedu”.

Harare Municipal Medical aid is a closed medical aid for City Council employees. Utano Wedu medical scheme is a community-based health insurance scheme that will be run by Harare Residents. It will the run by a Board of Trustees comprising mainly of residents representatives,” said Mr Chigwere.

“It will be an affordable scheme where members contribute $2 per month and they will be able to access health care at council clinics the services covered will include consultation by both a nurse and a doctor, medicines, ultrasound scan, laboratory, Radiology and dental care.”

The community health scheme will be administered by Minerva, a risk and insurance company.

“We aim to eliminate out-of-pocket payments at the point of care, pool funding to increase the funding base for health and strengthen community participation and ownership of health care services.

“ We have received seed funding to set up the fund from Unfpa who are our technical partners, the City Health will be the health providers, Minerva will be the fund administrators and the Ministry of Health is with us all the way providing policy direction and oversight as the regulator,” he said.

Mr Chigerwe said they have started establishing community structures to pilot the scheme.

“We have begun to set up community structures in Mbare and Hopley that will spearhead the scheme,” he said.

With the Government also considering a National Health Insurance scheme, the City Fathers state the community health insurance scheme aligns with the National Health Strategy alongside the National Development Strategy 1.

“The scheme is in line with the National Development Strategy 1 since it aims to mobilise domestic resources for health.

“Our health systems can only be built by the owners – council health services are owned by residents. The scheme is also in line with the National Health Strategy. It is a path towards National Health Insurance.

“Our objective is to ensure that every resident in Harare has a medical insurance card in his or her pocket or handbag by the end of the year, that we achieve universal health coverage and indeed achieve a world-class health service by 2030,” Mr Chigerwe said.

 

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