Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Re-alignment of National Health Insurance Management Authority(NHIMA) to Ministry of Health applauded


The Medicines Research and Access Platform (MedRAP) has supported the decision by the Government to re-align the National Health Insurance Management Authority (NHIMA) from the Ministry of Labour back to the Ministry of Health (MoH).

MedRAP Executive Director Liyoka Liyoka believes this shift will allow vulnerable Zambians, including those that are not in formal employment to access good quality health services without having to pay out of pocket.

Mr. Liyoka noted that placing NHIMA under the Ministry of Health will ensure that the government adequately provides appropriate policy oversight for a health entity and gives NHIMA the supervisory role.

“Prior to the National Health Insurance scheme (NHIS) only 4% of Zambians had access to good quality health care through insurance. The rest of the 96% faced financial barriers compelling them to pay exorbitant health services out-of-pocket hence pushing many families into abject poverty as well as increasing the morbidity and mortality burden in our communities. For those who had finances, the prospect of poor service, lack of diagnostics and laboratory equipment, and perennial shortages of medicines and medical supplies deterred them from obtaining optimal health services from both public and private facilities alike,” Mr. Liyoka said.

In a media statement issued by MedRAP Communications Officer Tinkerbel Mwila, Mr. Liyoka further advocated the decentralisation of the national drug budget.

“In this case, Health facilities will make their own budgets and purchase medicines and medical supplies from ZAMMSA on a cash basis. In turn, the health facilities will recoup their drug expenditure funds and other services through the NHIMA reimbursement system. These funds can then be used to purchase more medicines and other medical supplies from ZAMMSA. In turn, ZAMMSA can also use these funds to procure more medicines, hence creating a sustainable cycle. This mechanism will automatically transfer the responsibility of purchasing and maintaining commodity stock level to the facility,” Mr. Liyoka said.

“It is in our considered view that a well-defined decentralized drug budget system, a commercialized ZAMMSA, and a fully rolled out NHIMA reimbursement programme must constitute the initial key components of a new and sustainable medicines supply chain strategy. This is necessary to ensure achievement of Universal Health Coverage through the Vision 2030, which envisions a prosperous country where all Zambians have access to quality health services, including medicines,” he concluded.


  1. There is supposed to be women football. Why you feeding Zambians with things they don’t understand?
    1. Musole
    2. Ester Shamfuko
    3. Martha
    4. Pauline Zulu
    5. The other
    6. Nachula
    7. Prisca
    8. Grace Chanda
    9. Barbara
    10. Kundananji
    11. Mupopo

  2. UPND thought they were smarter than PF , the creators of NHIMA. UPND should have consulted PF even through the parliamentary health committee. No need to try and reinvent the wheel by making a matter of universal health coverage to be one of labour.

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