President of Zambia His Excellency Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu

President Edgar Lungu has signed into law the controversial National Health Insurance Bill meant to achieve Universal Health Coverage for all Zambians.

Act No. 2 of 2018 signed by President Edgar Chagwa Lungu establishes the National Health Insurance Scheme that will ensure that all Zambians have equitable access to quality health care irrespective of their status in society.

The Bill will see working Zambians make a monthly contribution into a Fund which Government will use to run the public health system.

The Bill was heavily criticized by sections of the trade movement with the Zambia Federation of Employers warning that it will take the Zambian government to the International Labour Organisation if it does not shelve the bill.

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56 COMMENTS

    • The worst decision ever, this bill need more consultation. In its current form, it shall fail

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    • Why do you say that Obatala? It sounds good to me. We’re talking about a maximum of only 16 Million people here and not like the US with it’s 300 million plus.

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    • @ Nine Chale, what this means is if you are in employment and you earn K10 000, you will have to pay K100 and your employers another K100 so K200 will be paid to National Health Insurance. Now your employers already pays a better health insurance which is not mandatory, do you think they will continues to pay for optional insurance? No! and unlike in the USA, very few people are in formal employment and to expect a handful of people to subsidize the millions is at best delusional

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    • It has the ability to create a social transfer liability and be a strain on the national budget especially if steps are not immediately taken to broaden the pool.

      The largest number for non-contributors will comes from informal sector such as marketeers and transportation such as taxi and mini bus drivers.

      Unless a framework mechanism is built in to capture those at either ticket sales or licensing, they might end being free loaders.

      Also, SMEs and SOEs as well as one man operations may be left out. To be successful the powers that maybe should immediately for ways to make this an all inclusive scheme.

      Well managed, it can actually prove to be an pool for excess cash to be utilized for pension funding but over billing is usually the potential abuse that rocks such schemes…

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    • Zambians have no problem in paying taxes as long as its used for the intendend purpose, The problem is people pay taxes, like the one on petrol, tall gate and noe heath tax which only end up in politician pockets.

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    • Obatala – Spot on ..and add to that you will find companies overcharging Medical Stores.. .. ministers like Chilufya will suddenly become a medical suppliers if he is not already one and his company will be charging MOH and Medical Stores.. 50 cents for a pill of paracetamol.

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    • bantu truth – if these guys see nothing wrong with procuring a Mercedes Van Ambulance that costs £70,000 for three times that amount… what more when they have more money coming in!!

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    • World is moving away from workers money being taken away by government run ponzi schemes.

      NAPSA is a fraud and late Sata started High Fee paying wards at UTH and provincial Hospitals and everything failed.

      NAPSA has been increasing contribution while its expense ratio (salaries and allowances to management, board members, directors and wasteful administration expenses) have been taking away a big chunk of workers’ contribution.

      Government messed up Public Pension, Zesco and local government employees pension (LASF).

      ZIMCO failed, INDECO failed and IDC is bound to fail. IDC executives are spending every month millions of kwacha on useless world tours, board meetings comprising of 20 directors and lituna of management.

      When will the masses rise and start disobedience…

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    • Very few people in Zambia pay more than 30 per cent in PAYE. So scope to levy another 10-20% for adequate public service delivery is huge. Further, tax audits are weak resulting in a huge propensity for individuals and companies to avoid paying the correct tax. In weak tax systems like Zambia, mandatory direct levies are the best way to raise revenue for public expenditure otherwise you have Greece or worse. Lets face it, this is a worthy bill in lieu of sugar taxes and the like and to reach a realistic ratio of taxes to GDP which has been below par to deliver good public service including decent pay for public servants.

      Lets learn to be whistle blowers for corruption rather than rant corruption HAGAIN. Ode to improved health!

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    • My philosophy on issues like this is:

      TRY IT OUT, YET BE WILLING TO MAKE TIMELY CORRECTIONS OR JETSON (DUMP) THE ENTIRE PROGRAM/SCHEME IF IT DOESN’T WORK.

      Otherwise, how do we know if it is a good idea or not. Oh well, maybe it is just the engineer in me talking (IF YOU ARE NOT SURE SOTHING WILL WORK, TRY IT (EXPERIMENT) AND THE RESULTS/DATA WILL TELL ITS OWN STORY.)

      For sure our healthcare system needs a STEADY AND PREDICTIBLE INJECTION OF RESOURCES/MONEY than is the case at the moment. Relying largely on FOREIGN CHARITY is not a good nor reliable way to fund a National Healthcare System.

      If this money can be kept separate and apart from everything else, I think this scheme can go a long way towards improving the Country’s healthcare delivery for all Zambians. But of…

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    • Continue….

      of course, the DEVIL IS ALWAYS IN THE DETAILS…. how it is setup, run and managed.

      l also think slapping a special tax on things like alcohol and cigarettes for specifically a scheme (National Health Insurance) like this can help broaden the funding base. After all, cigarettes and alcohol are among the major causes of diseases that disproportionately send people to hospitals. Just hope an effective tax collection system and tracking can simultaneously be given the preriority and attention it requires.

      Let us be INOVETIVE and FLEXIBLE in our efforts as we try and find workable and lasting solutions to our Nation Healthcare problems. Obviously, how we have funded our healthcare so far hasn’t worked to our expectations. So why not try something new and radical….who…

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    • A historic achievement that will see Zambia move towards Universal Health coverage! All progressive countries in the World have similar schemes for their citizens. This is a serious game changer for Zambia!

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  1. Zambians love free things. That’s a brilliant move out there Mr. President, and will be supported by well meaning Zambians.

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    • Correction though I voted for your comment. This is not free. Zambian tax payers will foot the bill. But that’s good.

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  2. So this bill effectively increases the tax payers burden across the board. Oh happy day ! More money outside the pocket.
    This is what clueless misleaders resort to when they have too many ill-thought projects which are funded by kaloba and the kaloba-master comes calling for his pound of flesh.

    Brace yourselves for worse, dununa luversi is just kicking into high gear.

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    • @Jay Jay
      You are a. Hole
      All you do is insult our PRESIDENT
      And when you do he gets more blessings.

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  3. Just like with tolled roads the taxpayer is being charged twice.
    “The Bill will see working Zambians make a monthly contribution into a Fund which Government will use to run the public health system.”
    The ministry of health receives its fair share of the budget why should it receive more from Lungucare?

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    • Although the MoH receives it’s share from the National budget, but if the budget itself is not big enough to adquately cover all Govt obligations across all Ministries? Mind you, Healthcare, other than maybe Defense (military), is the most expensive expenditure by most Govts, Zambia included.

      And it is so far very clear that just depending on what the National Budget provides is not enough. Not trying something else will forever consign our Healthcare to a substandard system. A situation we are all too familiar with. Those Countries with good health systems we always envy have Citizens who have resolved to pay a little bit more, either through higher taxes or private health insurance systems, for their healthcare….the phrase YOU GET WHAT YOU PAID FOR says a lot.

      Be willing to…

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    • Continue…

      pay/spend a little more and you can expect HIGH QUALITY stuff/service. Be cheap or not willing to spend a little more and don’t be surprised at the SUBSTANDARD QUALITY of what you get in return. In other words, quality is NOT free or cheap. That is just the nature of the beast called national healthcare.

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    • You don’t put extra taxes on overtaxed citizens. Privatise some hospitals and the burden will lessen on UTH

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  4. Zambians you are charged tv lincences, what has improved about znbc? You have been charged a fuel levy for years, which roads were maintened? No roads were ever repaired. These roads they are doing now (and pocketing the bigger part of the money) is through borrowed dollars. Next they have brought tolls ati to metain roads. So charging a working zambian, which is like less than 1 million working zambians, what difference will hapen in government hospitals if at all the money will go towards hospitals. Zambians are now a cash cow & no accountability for their money

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  5. UPND President HH has been providing health insurance in Zambia through his company Sanlam and private hospitals such as Fairview at exhorbitant premiums to a few greedy Zambians who are mostly members of the Zambia Federation of Employers occupying management ranks. This law will now be available to all Zambians at affordable premiums.
    UPND sponsored critics so that he continues exploiting the few previliged Zambians. This new law will bring competition and the premiums by HH and his congromelate of companies will reduce the premiums. Go ECL. If they cant appreciate the Bill of Rights what more this new law

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    • So are you saying the two insurance schemes are comparable and now everyone can go to fairview? Joker.

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    • What that means is that those who work will be paying for those who don’t.How are Zambians in formal employment?

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  6. SOME PEOPLE WHO CLAIM TO BE TRUE BELIEVERS SHALL GO TO HELL BECAUSE OF NEGATIVE TRIBAL HATRED. HELL IS WAITING FOR THEM. THEY ARE BUSY WITH TRIBALISIM DEEP DOWN THEIR HEARTS EVEN TO AN EXTENT OF HATING A BABY JUST BECAUSE THE MOTHER AND FATHER BELONGS TO THAT TRIBE.

    I REBUKE SUCH TRIBALISTS IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST THAT IF YOU DONT REPENT TODAY YOU SHALL DIE WITH YOUR HEART ATTACK AND FALL STRAIGHT IN THE DANG-ION OF HELL WHERE BITING OF TEETH AND BURNING COAL AWAITS ALL SINNERS.

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  7. This only increases production costs in the country as employing workers will be too expensive because of the contributions companies have to make.

    Instead of creating more jobs these people only know how to create more taxes as it means less work for them.

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  8. Income tax, personal levy, borehole tax, road tax, carbon tax, fuel levy, TV levy, VAT, Toll levy, school fees and now Health insurance; but no services! Ridiculous

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    • Zambian will be taking home stones after pay…this govt has lamentable failed to prudently manage resources and you let them tax you more. Erecting Toll Stations without constructing an alternative route…

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  9. someone who has read this law, educate me please. Does it mean I can go to any medical facility anywhere & my insurance will cover all the costs?

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    • No, it only means you will now be paying for UTH and the other hospitals being built as GRZ is short of cash and can not afford to run those hospitals , so you will be taxed.

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  10. The government does not have money to run the health sector. Is this the solution? Heck no. There’s a way to start solving such problems, BRING BAG THE STOLEN MONEY!! Stop stealing every coin that enters the country. The other thing is that Lungu and PF are building wrong infrastructure. Building factories to create jobs. There will be enough taxes to pay for such services like healthcare. Also, even this bill would make sense if more people were in employment putting more money in this pot. The ratio is just too lopsided in favor of unemployment. 1:7. How does one person pay taxes to care for 7 people? Please bring back the stolen money period.

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  11. Napsa, TV levies by DSTV, MUVTV, Gotv, topstar etcx5 monthly even if u were off air. Insurance, payE, bank account Levi, airtime garbage Levi, cement, Levi, tallgate,ballwell Levi, withholding tax, road tax, empowerment Levi etc you can add utilities what are we going to see is high blood pressure, sugar strocks unstoppable headache etc.

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  12. Another concern is over government’s propensity to create beaucracies, next thing know a huge, unnecessary & expensive structure will emerge just to “manage” those funds, but end up consuming most of it in allowances, salaries etc…

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  13. There was a time when Zambia used money from taxes and copper proceeds to provide free health, education, build roads and subsidise commodities. Today we borrow to build roads, ask for all sorts of fees for one to go through school, remove subsidies, don’t finance health enough and still go broke. The question is; where do all the monies collected go? Including all the bragging of billions collected from Toll Gates and the ZRA?
    Secondly, with the ‘track record’ of this government, a large informal sector and a lack of evidence of any long-term planning, I have no confidence whatsoever that this will work. In fact, the consequences may be too ghastly to contemplate – with this regime.

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    • They removed subsidies but there is nothing to show for …those airports are being funded with Chinese loans

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    • Very soon they will ask for education insurance, agriculture Insurance, home construction insurance,

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  14. Mamamamamama…..we are in for it ladies and gentlemen. Zambia is cursed surely. Mmmmmmm….. Kayaa

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  15. Imwe bamambala, tamfyeni Lungu naba PF. You will die like locusts. This guy told you he has no vision. Now see where you are headed. The population of Zambia is manageable. How come we have the highest unemployment in the region? Look at South Africa, Tanzania, and other countries similar to us, how are they managing to run their affairs in a normal and acceptable ways? What have we done wrong? Are Lungu and PF our curse? I Miss Pilato. We would have a wonderful song for this announcement.

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  16. The contributions should be imposed on all account holders in any bank in Zambia as opposed to deductions from payslips to capture a wider pool of contributors. Banks must remit K100 per month to this fund from all accounts.

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  17. To the people who voted for this government: You are a stain on our nation! You displayed ignorance, gullibility and lack of critical thought and analysis in your decision making because the writing was on the wall. What kind of nation makes the same sort of mistakes repeatedly and doesn’t learn from them? What sort of people see incompetence and still go ahead and endorse it under the guise of “humility”? Look at where we find ourselves now – over indebted and taxed to the hills. All the meaningless promises, songs and prayers have come to nothing. Zambians you better wake up now – think about your long-term future, think beyond your generation and stop being so gullible and ignorant!

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  18. WE ARE LIVING IN A CONFUSED STATE WHERE GOVERNMENT IS ASKING FORE MORE MONEY FROM THE POOR

    THIS IS TOO MUCH BA GOVT

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