The first National conference on Community Health Financing in Uganda was held at the Silver Springs Hotel – Bugolobi, Kampala from 1st – 2nd December 2016. The conference brought together over 100 participants and experts mainly from Uganda, and around the East African region to discuss and identify ways how Community Health Financing / Insurance (CHF/I) should play an important role in Uganda’s plans to achieve Universal Health Insurance (UHI) and Universal Health Coverage (UHC). The conference was organized and hosted by Save for Health Uganda (SHU) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Uganda Community Based Health Financing Association (UCBHFA).
The Uganda Government through the Ministry of Health is planning to introduce a National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) for all residents. For its implementation, the draft NHIS bill of 2014 provides for three sub-schemes: (1) Social health insurance scheme, (2) Community health insurance schemes, and (3) Private commercial health insurance schemes, through which residents will enroll and that all three will operate concurrently to: ensure financial access to affordable, equitable and quality healthcare services progressively to all residents in an efficient manner; protect families from catastrophic health expenditures; improve quality of health care services through pooling contributions and risk sharing; and give the community/consumers a voice and ensure their active participation in health care service delivery.
The large informal sector in Uganda and a significant indigent population both continue to challenge policy and key decision makers to define who they are, and how they will be enrolled and retained in the NHIS. These and other related questions are what Uganda currently needs answers to, and practical learning experiences. This conference focused on those issues, and declarations and practical recommendations on them were made by participants.
Conference themeAdvancing Community Health Financing in achieving Universal Health Coverage in Uganda.
- Status of CHF in Uganda
- Global and regional perspectives on the role of CHF in healthcare financing
- The proposed NHIS and role of CHF
- Indigents and informal sector participation for universal health insurance coverage
Objectives of the conference
The objectives were:
- To raise awareness about CHF initiatives in Uganda and achievements so far;
- To present regional and global evidence of the role of CHF in achieving Universal Health Insurance and Universal Health Coverage;
- To present the current and examine the envisaged role of CHF initiatives for NHIS in Uganda;
- To derive ways in which the informal sector and indigents in Uganda can be central in universal health insurance coverage (UHIC); and
- To make declarations and recommendations on how the current CHF initiatives can be strengthened to contribute to the achievement of UHI and eventually UHC.
Structure of the conference
The conference featured expert presentations, panel discussions on key topics, interactive sessions, a keynote speech and an exhibition.