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Finance Minister Alexander said when releasing the 2016 national budget that the government has provided funds for the establishment of the National Social Health Insurance Scheme.

Doctors
Doctors
Aaron Mujajati, the president of the Zambia Medical Association said the government should be commended for the bold decision and that the association is hopeful that this will result in a better health financing system and improved quality health services.

“As workers on the frontlines of health service delivery, we have and continue to see the challenges faced by the current health system to meet the growing demand for quality health services despite good government efforts and intentions. The burden is too heavy both for government and individuals seeking health services,” Mujajati said in a statement.

Ordinary Zambians have had challenges paying cash for health services at health institutions while government has been struggling to equitably allocate limited resources to various sectors of the economy, he added.

The social health insurance scheme, he said, will help in addressing the challenges faced in the provision of quality health services, and expressed hope that the government will make the system work effectively.

According to him, the social health insurance scheme is what a country with high poverty levels like Zambia requires as the current system wrongly assumes that health services could be funded entirely from public resources, adding that the system will also go a long way in bridging the gap between the rich and poor in terms of access to quality health services.

“What we now ask the government and the rest of us in civil society must put our heads together in creating awareness among members of the public on how the social health insurance works and its benefits,” he said.

Minister of Health Joseph Kasonde told local media recently that his ministry has been working on a document that will outline how the social health insurance scheme will work in the last four years.

Once the social insurance scheme has been established, every Zambian in formal employment will be required to pay a monthly contribution towards the scheme.

The scheme, which is expected to start operating next year, will add to financing towards quality health services provisions.

Currently, Zambia has a few private health insurance schemes which are not properly coordinated or regulated. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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