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Save for Health Uganda together with partners hosted the fourth National Community Health Financing (CHF) conference from 13th to 15th November, 2019 under the theme, ‘Community Health Financing Initiatives; Moving Towards Universal Health Coverage’.

The conference which was attended by 225 people from 36 districts started with a field trip to Luwero, Nakaseke and Nakasongola districts where participants visited community health insurance (CHI) schemes and healthcare providers. On 14th and 15th November, participants gathered at Imperial Royale Hotel Kampala for discussions.

The conference was officially opened by the State Minister for Health in charge of general duties Hon. Sarah Opendi on behalf of the Speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga.

The Minister revealed that CHI schemes will provide an avenue to enrol people in the informal sector into the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

The Minister thanked promoters of CHI for moving ahead of government and committed to work closely with them to expand CHI to other districts.

“Fortunately, the National Health Insurance Scheme recognises the community health insurance schemes as a means for bringing on board the informal sector. Let us all focus on this scheme and ensure that it is approved by Parliament before we go into the next elections,” said Opendi.

The Minister said the NHIS will help to eliminate illegal payments by patients at health facilities and guarantee good quality of services because both private and public facilities will compete for the same clients.

The keynote address was delivered by Prof. Freddie Ssengooba, a Professor of Health Policy and Systems Management and Director, Supporting Policy Engagement for Evidence-based Decisions (SPEED) for Universal Health Coverage Project at Makerere University School of Public Health and discussed by Prof Yoswa Mbulalina Dambisya, Director General, East Central Southern Africa-Health Community. The session was chaired by Dr. Andrew Ssemwanga, the Vice Chancellor of St. Lawrence University.

On the second day, Prof. John F. Mugisha, the Vice Chancellor of Cavendish University delivered a keynote address on the role of leadership in the implementation of community health insurance and the NHIS.

Mr. Alex Ofori Mensah, from the Christian Health Association of Ghana and a member of the provider accreditation committee of the Ghana NHIS shared about how CHI schemes evolved into the NHIS in Ghana.

While welcoming participants to the conference, SHU Executive Director, Mr. Makaire Fredrick, noted that CHI schemes had expanded from 21 to 32 districts over the year and efforts were ongoing to reach more areas.

Mr. Makaire thanked the Ministry of Health for tabling the National Health Insurance Scheme Bill in Parliament and called upon participants to think more practically about how every Ugandan will benefit from the scheme.

The conference was closed by Mr. Stephen Kasaija, the Head of Programme Management Unit, Expanding Social Protection Programme, on behalf of the Minister of Gender Labour and Social Development.

Mr. Kasaija implored participants to continue with efforts to ensure that every Ugandan can have access to health insurance services irrespective of their social, economic or employment status. Members of Parliament, researchers, local government leaders, civil society actors, insurance promoters, and representatives of healthcare providers attended the conference.

 

MPs who attended the conference

Hon. Robinah Ssentongo – Woman MP, Kyotera district

Hon. Mbwatekamwa Gaffa – Kasambya County, Mubende district

Hon. Ssebikaali Joel – Ntwetwe County, Kiboga district

Hon. Kamusiime Pentagon Innocent - Butemba County, Kyamkwanzi

Hon. Koluo Joseph Andrew – Toroma County, Katakwi district

Hon. Akurut Violet Adome – Woman MP, Katakwi district

Hon. Kaluya Andrew Kiiza – Kigulu South, Iganga District

Conference partners

  1. Bread for the World
  2. Ministry of Health
  3. Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development
  4. Luwero District Local Government
  5. Health Partners Uganda with support from USAID
  6. Federation of Uganda Employers
  7. Uganda Insurers Association
  8. Uganda Protestant Medical Bureau
  9. Smart Applications International Uganda Limited
  10. USAID/Uganda Voucher Plus Activity