The Uganda medical association (UMA) has applauded the recently cabinet approved health insurance scheme Bill and called on Ugandans to embrace it.
While addressing journalists in Kampala, UMA president Dr. Ekwaro Obuku said the Bill will benefit Ugandans by eradicating poverty, and empowering the paying citizen to demand for quality health care, improve lives/ health indices among others.
The Bill was approved in the cabinet meeting that sat at State House Entebbe on 24th this month.
If passed into law, the Bill shall make it mandatory for every individual above 18 years to pay for National Health insurance.
Each Ugandan adult under the law shall be required to remit a certain amount of money to the scheme and acquire an insurance card. Civil servants and formally employed Ugandans will be required to contribute 4% of their gross salary.
One the issue of the formal sector contributing more than the informal sector, Ekwaro said the proper way should for the richest to pay more.
” The Kikubo billionaires should pay more because they have more money than us who are here in suites but full of loans,” he said
Ekwaro noted that in East Africa, Uganda is the only country without a health insurance scheme apart from South Sudan.
“It is therefore important that we harmonize our systems and not be left behind. It is important to point out that our leaders in government are enjoying private health pre-payment schemes using tax payers money,” he added
Ekwaro also called on government to increase the health sector budget to cater for unemployed youth, Children and elderly in insurance scheme.
He added that as UMA, they support the Bill and there is no need for Uganda to first be a middle income country, to have the scheme.