Thursday, July 25, 2024

Health Minister Updates National Assembly on National Health Insurance Scheme Implementation

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Health Minister Sylvia Masebo addressed the National Assembly, presenting a comprehensive update on the implementation of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIMA).

Key Highlights of the NHIMA Update:

1.Registration Access:

  • Citizens and established residents must register to access NHIMA services.
  • Individuals between 18 and 64 years should register as contributing members from both formal and informal sectors.
  • Children under 18 should be registered as beneficiaries under a contributing member, while those 65 and above are exempt from contributions.
  • Persons classified as poor, vulnerable, or disabled are also exempt from contributions.

2.Informal Sector Contributions:

  • An average fee of K50 per family per month covers up to seven members.
  • Access to services is uniform regardless of contribution amount.

3.Membership Growth:

  • NHIMA membership increased from 1.6 million before the 2021 elections to over 4.6 million by June 2024, representing 23% of Zambia’s population.

4.Low Contribution Rates:

  • NHIMA’s average contribution is K50 per family of seven per month.
  • The benefits package includes outpatient and inpatient services, surgery, maternity and neonatal care, eye and oral health services, pharmaceutical drugs, and physiotherapy.

5.Nationwide Registration Exercise:

  • Government and NHIMA are conducting a nationwide registration drive.
  • Registration is available at public hospitals, NHIMA offices, and online.
  • A toll-free line, 8000, is available for assistance.

6.Special July Waiver:

  • From July 5th to August 4th, 2024, new registrants who make their monthly contribution will immediately access services without the usual four-month waiting period.
  • 7.Partnerships and Social Cash Transfer Beneficiaries:
  • NHIMA partnered with Global Fund and International Labour Organization to register over 100,000 Social Cash Transfer Beneficiaries.
  • 10,000 beneficiaries were registered in Ndola at the official launch.

8.Facility Accreditation and Policy Reforms:

  • NHIMA has 406 accredited facilities across Zambia.
  • Each district will have an NHIMA-accredited health facility and registration office.
  • Reforms include mass registration exercises, suspension of new private healthcare provider accreditations, revocation of fraudulent health facility accreditations, benefits package review, and financing modality enhancements.

Health Minister Sylvia Masebo emphasized the government’s unwavering commitment to providing accessible healthcare for all Zambians and urged continued support and participation in NHIMA to ensure the scheme’s success.

5 COMMENTS

  1. When Chitalu Chilufya rushed the NHIMA bill our concerns were about its sustainability. NHIMA directors get salaries more than even that of a Minister and then PS. The Board gets allowances yet important decisions are made by the Minister. There’s no need to have NHIMA employees at every government institution. All these gobble funds. Now there’s a proposal to increase member contributions and this is the problem with parastatals. Give us details of the expenditure structure and you’ll see what I mean

  2. Great update and articulation, this will lead to the achievement of the Health SDGs by 2030. Simplified and comprehensive and excited to see the exceptional leadership of President HH and team of experts including our Health Minister

  3. But why not give us the figures also of how much was raised through contributions and which institutions including private ones were paid how much so that we know whether our money is being spent wisely or just a scheme to enrich certain service providers.

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