First Lady Dr Christine Kaseba during the Golden Jubilee Anniversary of Zambia's Independence and the 50th Anniversary of India -Zambia Diplomatic relations in Lusaka on October 18,2014
Former First Lady Dr Christine Kaseba

Former First Lady Dr Christine Kaseba says people need to embrace and support the proposed National Health Insurance Bill.

Dr Kaseba who is also a respected Physician, Surgeon and Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist said the Bill once enacted into law would help improve the provision of health services in Zambia.

Dr Kaseba however observed that there is need for more sensitisation on the contents to help public understand its benefits and what it and what the Bill entails.

She said in an interview in Lusaka that the Bill is a welcome development and that the public should not criticise it.

“If you go to health facilities most of them are charging and even in public hospitals, some services are paid for and it is not always that you will have money when you fall sick because maybe you are paying for other responsibilities.

If you are able to pay a little something for your health, that should give you more peace,” Dr Kaseba said.
She added, “It’s just that maybe it was sudden and many people were not consulted and maybe that is why they are opposing it.”

Dr Kaseba’s position is however a major departure from her late husband Michael Sata’s principles who championed for free access to medical services.

Mr Sata’s first major reforms upon taking over office in 2011 was to abolish medical user fees for all arguing that everyone has a right to medical services including the poor.

President Sata’s move was in line with the PF manifesto on Health Services financing in which the party pledged to double budgetary allocation in order to provide universal care ad abolish user fees and health care will be “based on need” rather than the “ability to pay.

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37 COMMENTS

    • How many Zambians have regular jobs to afford regular insurance payments?
      Give the people the 2-million jobs, NOT irrelevant taxes.

      Heavy taxes on the masses is a gimmick to make Zambians pay for PF’s Kaloba.

      Toll gate fees on top of fuel levy has been raising billions for clue-less PF. Soon new NRC’s, new passports, new vehicle licenses, high TV licenses will be introduced to fund-raise for PF-Kaloba.

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    • Dr.Kaseba, with due respect, have you read the bill? If you have please explain to us why people in the public sector who are already paying health insurance be made to subscribe to the National Health Insurance scheme as well. The employees, by not accessing govt facilities are already greatly subsidizing govt. The bill should be a win-win otherwise private sector health insurance will be with drawn and Ministry of Health will not cope with having to absorb patients from the private sector

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    • SHE IS JUST EXPRESSING HER OWN OPINION. IF YOU CAN DECAMPAIN THE BILL GO RIGHT AHEAD. PARLIAMENTARIANS WILL DO THE REST AND ECL WILL SIGN.
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      This is also about numbers in parliament. Meanwhile more support for debates

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    • Just sign and pay, oh no need to sign, it will be taken anyway………pf needs more bicycles for campains….

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    • PF will tax you for sinking a borehole, driving from town A to town B even when you already pay road tax, now health insurance bill US style…so they can misappropriate more money.

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    • BA DR. KASEBA, WITH DUE RESPECT, WILL THE PEOPLE WHO CAN AFFORD TO FOOD FOR THEIR FAMILIES AFFORD WHAT YOU ARE SUPPORTING. AFTER DESTROYING THE ECONOMY THE PF GOVERNMENT INTRODUCED THE HEALTH INSURANCE BILL. THIS IS NOT BEING FAIR TO THE PEOPLE , MAINLY THE POOR WHO WERE PROMISED LOWER TAXES AND MORE IN THEIR POCKETS WHO HAVE BEEN RENDERED DESTITUTES.

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  1. Health Insurance is a good move but even the current insurance packages we have in Zambia have not been good.

    Example in other countries say third party car insurance with no claim for 3 years will give you a payback often of 50percent of the premiums for that period but here in Zambia how many Insurance companies offer such deals? We have exploitative business houses that make abnormal profits so let’s hope this will not be another scam from Zambian insurance crooked companies.

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  2. Fair observation Dr. Kaseba. I especially agree with your point on how ‘sudden’ the bill seem to have been introduced! That is what happens when the so-called consultants who are out of touch with reality are hired. Health care is expensive. We get it. But anything new has to be done methodically and in earnest dialogue with people. The best example on how to go about introducing ‘new things’ was demonstrated by BOZ’s rebasing of the Kwacha. Sensitize!Sensitize! Sensitize!

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  3. What is this again? Which Insurance? For which hospitals? Government hospitals? I am sorry but I am not in for it. Government hospitals are one way traffic to….

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  4. There will be rampant abuse. Look at so-called statutory third party car insurance in Zambia; you visit for 5 days you pay for 3 months. What a sham. Also, there are a lot of services in Zambia for which monies are collected and services not offered in exchange – such as so called land servicing (drainage, sewer, etc.). So this health insurance must be well thought through please. Let’s do even one thing right for once in our fcuking lives.

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  5. Has it been thought thru how the unemployed, of which there are a very large number, will be able to pay for insurance.

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  6. Nothing special about this bill. But it’s a great thought. Just not right now. People needs jobs

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  7. This cannot work, you are going to have 80 percent of uninsured people with no jobs, this government treats people like kids it all because of the docility of citizens. You cannot wake up one day and announce something of this magnitude and expect people to receive it well. I don’t even trust this government with my money, they will be buying one panado for a thousand dollars, cost saving is foreign to them.

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    • Fair comment Chimbwi. To me it sounds like a poll tax in everything but name. Businesses are struggling with high interest rates that Alexander Chikwanda’s poor economic stewardship has caused. Sorry, I do not support this one. If this bill is passed it will just give them an opportunity to buy panadol at 5,000 US dollars.

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    • Reform or status quo, who cares? If MPs will be levelheaded, maybe your opinion will matter. MPs must vote their conscious and not afford to be petty and political. Walk outs are a disservice. The debate rolls on.

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  8. How can she support something like this especially bring proposed by a corrupt govt that is not accountable that justifies procurement of Ambulances at three times the cost. Lazy Lungu is truly a visionless weak leader.

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  9. Mayo, you did well to dissociate yourself from Guy Scott, that confused mzungu misled you. Well-done for coming back to your senses. Guy Scott has now abandoned his wife in UPND and moved to Kambwili’s Party. It’ll be more honourable for him to just retire from politics, considering his age.

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  10. When her late husband, the King Cobra, was Minister of Health he introduced medical schemes whereby each member of the family was paying K0.50 per month. UTH was able to raise K750,000 per month yet they only required K250,000 to run per month. He then advised them to use the balance to acquire vital equipment. It was a success until he left the ministry. Had that continued it could have transformed the health sector

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  11. Its only in Zambia where accessing health facilities is free. Hospitals have a pharmacy wing whereby upon seeing the doctor you straight away present the prescription to the pharmacists who later on give you medicine. Here you pay to see Dr cash if you’re not on medicare and afterwards whether on medicare or not you go buy medicine in chemistry.
    Zambians enjoy yourselves while it lasts.

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  12. Yes the bill is a good thing in theory and must be supported. However in practice it will pose a lot of challenges in its current form, which is a recipe for absolute and shameful failure. Government (or PF government as you prefer to be called), for once listen to concerns and proposals, those from ZCTU and ZFE are very legitimate concerns for examole. If the government does not listen then we will conclude that the bill is not meant for what the government is telling us, that it is meant for such ulterior motives as fundraising. We are still smarting from a faulty constitution amendment which upndeez have taken advantage of to try and make the country ungovernable. We are just coming out of a well intentioned but chaotic e-voucher which upndeez are celebrating their success at making it…

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  13. We are also just coming now from a well intentioned but chaotic e-voucher which upndeez are celebrating their success at making it fail.
    For once please lets learn to do this one, if ONLY THIS ONE, right by consulting and listening. Call a conference and debate. Your Excellency do not sign this bill the way they made you sign the chaotic amended constituoon, if anyone objects, send it to us the masses through our reresentatives ZCTU and ZFE.

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    • Just sign and tax them, PF need money for bicycles, school books with lungus face smiling and other materials for campains……..

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  14. I cannot support it 1. The levels of unemployment are just too high. 2. Panadol will be costing ten times the normal price, which will be benefiting the buyers only. 3. Stealing has become normal, read the Auditors report with the financial irregularities not even a single person has entered the Courts to exculpate. In short such Bills are for development nationals. Period!!!! Next please.

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  15. You ***** Kaseba! The issue is not the bill but accountability!
    How are you going to ensure that the money is going to be used for the purpose intended?
    When they removed the subsidies, they told us that the money would be put to good causes – how come we have not seen improvements in public services?
    You are enjoying Sata’s pension paid top you by the poor Tax payers who have no formal jobs and cant afford any taxes, do you think of them and have any pity for them?
    Anything to do with medicine or health you jump like a big fish from the river and say things which dont make sense. Just shut you ar.se up you miserable “witch doctor”!

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  16. This is something that needs to be thought through carefully. Health is not a matter to be merely subjected to the stroke of a pen. My initial reaction is not to support this proposal – especially in the climate of a government that has been proven time and again to be financially unaccountable. A regime that has failed lamentably to create an environment for local industry to thrive. How many people will be in enough earning power to pay this insurance? We need also to firstly assess what has gone on in the health service. What ‘compelling’ factors have necessitated a move from when we had free health, to this proposal? We could afford it then. How much do we value investment in a nation’s health and how much do we allocate to it from all the money ‘raked in’?

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  17. Health care in Zambia is not only about money, but prudent use of resources. If a minister can justify the purchase of Mercedes Benz ambulances and purchase of expired drugs and you want people to purchase insurance?

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  18. This woman is suffering from dementia. She shouldn’t be taken serious by any well meaning Zambian. While she’s qualified to talk about medicine and public health technically, she doesn’t seem to have knowledge in both health finance and administration. The other option could be that she’s deliberately trying to catch the attention of ECL so that she can be given a government position.

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  19. Foolish you. Kaseba can’t beg for a GRZ job. She is a consultant OBGY, if you know what I mean. She is confortable, unlike you.

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  20. The general citizenry no longer have trust in the PF govt. They are luck that they have the numbers in parliament otherwise they could have been history by now. The opposition are also a very big let down as well. They have not taken advantage of the void to expound their alternative policies. Now the only option we are left with is between the devil we know and the devil we do not know. Let the Zambian technocrats come together like MMD did and form a political party. As for now we are stuck in the middle.

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