The National Health Insurance Management Authority (NHIMA) is this month embarking on registering the informal sector.
This expansion to cover the informal sector is in pursuit of the insurance authority’s mandate to register every Zambian and established residents on the universal health scheme.
NHIMA Director-General James Kapesa said in Katete district that the scheme will enable the members of the public across all sectors to have quick access to quality health care.
“Starting this month NHIMA will start registering the informal sector, this province is rich in agriculture supported by an army of peasant farmers, we have to cover our peasant farmers so that they can access good quality health care,” he said.
NHIMA Director was speaking when he toured St Francis Mission Hospital in Katete District of Eastern Province.
Currently, NHIMA only covers employees under the formal who are contributing about 1 percent of their monthly allowance to the health insurance authority.
Mr Kapesa observed that for the institution to undertake the registration of the informal sector, it will be using a mobile-based application to assess the income of people under this sector.
He further added that the institution will also be using mobile phone platforms for the public in the informal sector to remit a very small portion of the money they make every day, weekly or monthly.
“For farmers, we are also going to design the scheme that make sure that we come and collect money from you when you have harvested or when you have sold so that you make one big payment the whole year or one small payment the whole year which the scheme can now divide into 12 installments, so no one will be left behind,” Mr Kapesa said.
Meanwhile, St Francis Mission Hospital Medical Superintendent (MS) Lalick Banda notes that NHIMA contributed positively to the running of the mission hospital.
He explained the hospital have benefited from NHIMA in almost all the five pillars health services that include the Infrastructure, human resource, commodities or logistics, equipment and health financing.
“From the NHIMA funding and government funding, the services at the hospital have improved, we have about a 50 percent increment in the resources that we need,” Mr Kapesa said.
Earlier, the Director-general paid a courtesy call on the Katete District Health Director Abel Shawa, who reported that beneficiaries of NHIMA are happy with the insurance scheme.
However, Dr Shawa appealed to the institution to come up with means to easily relay the message on the scheme to an ordinary person.