3rd National Community Health Financing Conference
8th - 9th November, 2018
Save for Health Uganda (SHU), a leading promoter of community health insurance (CHI) schemes in Uganda, will together with the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, and other partners, host the 3rd national community health financing conference in Kampala. Founded in 2002, SHU is a national NGO with a mission to improve the quality of health of Ugandans through community health financing approaches. SHU is currently promoting CHI schemes in 10 districts and advocating for a fair national health insurance scheme (NHIS).
Background to the conference
Many Ugandans face financial challenges in accessing healthcare services due to poverty and high out-of-pocket payments. The Uganda Household Survey Report of 2016/17 indicated that 21.4% of the population, representing 8.1 million people, were living below the poverty line. This high level of poverty coupled with the high out-of-pocket expenditure at 41% of total health care expenditure, implies that a significant proportion of Ugandans are adversely affected by ill-health. Poor households often resort to distress sale of productive assets to pay for health services, which usually drives the members deeper into poverty.
Community Health Insurance, which started in Uganda in 1996 and currently covers about 150,000 people in 21 districts, is one of the community health financing (CHF) instruments for mitigating shocks caused by ill-health and improving access to healthcare for low-income families. The other CHF instruments include voucher schemes, community health funds, health revolving funds, and drug revolving funds, which all together cover people.
At national level, the government plans to introduce a universal national health insurance system. This commitment is anchored in the Uganda Vision 2040, the National Development Plan II, the Health Sector Development Plan 2015/2016 – 2019/2020, and the National Social Protection Policy, 2015, among others. At the moment, the draft NHIS bill, 2014, is pending presentation to Parliament.
The previous two National Community Health Financing Conferences
The two national CHF conferences were held in 2016 and 2017. The 2016 conference attended by 102 people brought to the limelight the CHF initiatives in the country and demonstrated their potential to contribute to the realisation of a fair NHIS. And as a result, CHI gained recognition among some policy makers as a viable social protection intervention in Uganda. The 2017 conference attended by 160 participants mobilised support for CHF schemes to enhance their capacity and contribute to achieving a fair NHIS for Uganda. Consequently, Luwero district started the process of establishing a district-wide CHI scheme, the Ministry of Health chose Luwero district to host the 2018 World Health Day national celebrations, and health insurance for the informal sector has gained more prominence in national level dialogues. In addition, several social entrepreneurs have developed affordable products for CHI schemes.
The 3rdNational Community Health Financing Conference
This year’s conference will build onto the achievements of the previous two conferences. The major aim of the 3rd conference is to enhance capacity of the informal sector to uptake CHF and similar social protection initiatives for sustainable growth.
Objectives of the conference
The specific objectives of the conference are:
i. To review progress made in implementing community health financing and introducing the National Health Insurance Scheme in the past 12 months.
ii. To demonstrate innovations in managing community health financing and other social protection initiatives for enrolment and retention of households of informal sector workers.
iii. To identify feasible strategies how the informal sector can access community health insurance, the National Health Insurance Scheme and other social protection initiatives.
The theme of the conference is enabling effective participation of the informal sector in community health financing and other social protection initiatives.
Dates and venue
The conference will take place on 8th – 9th November, 2018 at Imperial Royale Hotel, Kampala.
Contacts for more information
 National Health Accounts, 2017