The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) has requested government to give it the mandate to manage the National Health Insurance scheme, which is aimed at enabling all Ugandans access essential health care services.
Appearing before Parliament’s Committee on Health on Thursday, November 21, 2019, NSSF Deputy Executive Director Patrick Ayota said that with their experience of managing savers’ money that is now in trillions of shillings, they can ably collect funds under the health insurance scheme.
Mr Ayota said they are experienced in collecting money in form of deductions from salaried employees in the private sector and with the structures in place, he said NSSF will effectively manage the health scheme.
Asked how they will manage deductions in the informal sector, the NSSF officials told MPs that they would reconcile the database within the National Identity and Registration Authority (NIRA) and the telecom companies to get a list of all Ugandans and their dependents.
Mr Ayota said the Informal sector workers would contribute through their mobile phones and the charge would vary depending on the number of dependents per member.
He also said they will focus on strengthening the public health care delivery system to ensure that more than 80% of Ugandans living in rural areas have access to good health through equipping existing health structures. NSSF proposed that 1% is contributed by the employee and 1% by the employer to minimize administrative and overhead costs under the health scheme.
Parliament’s Committee on Health is currently scrutinizing the National Health Insurance Scheme Bill 2019. Cabinet in June approved the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) 2019 that will require all Ugandans above 18 years to contribute to the scheme before accessing health services across the country.
Ms Sarah Byakisa, the commissioner for policy, finance, and planning with Ministry of Health, says that the scheme is a must-pay-for by all Ugandans and foreigners in the country.
However, underprivileged people such as the poor who can hardly earn $1.5 (about Shs5,462.95) a day, people with disability (PWDS), the elderly, orphans, and street children will not pay any fee, but will get insurance cards from the government to access health services.