Save for Health Uganda (SHU) has inaugurated the first batch of community health insurance (CHI) sub-schemes created in the three districts of Iganga, Bugweri and Mayuge in Busoga sub-region, eastern Uganda. Six of the sub-schemes are located in Iganga, two in Bugweri and three in Mayuge.
The eleven sub-schemes include Namasoga, Iwawu East and Central Busoga Diocese in Bulamagi sub-county; Kiwanyi and Nawangaiza in Nawandala sub-county; and Calvary Chapel Naluko in Nabitende sub-county, Iganga district. Others are Nawansega in Ibulanku sub-county and Walanga in Igombe sub-county in Bugweri District. The sub-schemes in Mayuge district are Lugolole, St. Francis Buluba and Little Sisters Busoga, all in Baitambogwe sub-county.
The eleven sub-schemes have a membership of 3,300 individuals from 560 households. The sub-schemes are part of the main CHI scheme named Busoga Region Association of Tweidhandhabe Schemes (BRATS) which is registered with Iganga district as a community based organization.
The scheme signed service contracts with four health care facilities which have started providing medical services to the members. These are: Ibulanku community HC III in Bugweri district, Kiwanyi HC II and Naluko Women’s Hospital in Iganga district, and St. Francis Hospital Buluba in Mayuge district.
The four facilities offer both outpatient and in-patient services to scheme members for all illnesses except self-inflicted injuries, cancer cases, referral outside contracted facilities and self-medication claims. Every scheme member is entitled to healthcare services cover of maximum Ugx100,000 for outpatient care and Ugx200,000 for inpatient for every episode of illness at any of the four contracted health facilities.
SHU started implementing CHI in Busoga sub-region in January last year and targets to create at least 30 CHI sub-schemes by December 2023. Each household pays Ugx4,000 for registration while individuals contribute between Ugx 15,000 and Ugx20,000 for premium per year.
Three community health insurance (CHI) schemes supported by Save for Health Uganda (SHU) have signed two memoranda of understanding to create a joint pool of funds that will enable them to contract a national level referral health facility for specialized services and make benefits to their members portable across regions.
The schemes that signed formal collaboration on 2nd June, 2022, are Munno mu Bulwadde Union of schemes organization (MBUSO) which brings together 68 rural-based sub-schemes in Luwero, Nakaseke and Nakasongola districts, Central region Urban Munno mu Bulwadde scheme (CRUMBS) with four (4) urban sub-schemes in Luwero, Nakaseke, Nakasongola and Masaka districts, and Western Ankole Tweragurize Schemes’ Association (WATSA) which coordinates 20 rural sub-schemes in Bushenyi, Mitooma and Sheema districts. MBUSO and CRUMBS operate in the central while WATSA is in the western region of Uganda.
The objective of the joint pool is to further increase healthcare benefits for CHI scheme members through contracting a national level referral healthcare provider for specialized services. The schemes will achieve this by merging part of their funds to handle referral cases.
Under the memorandum for portability of benefits, scheme members will be able to access healthcare services at any facility contracted by the three schemes across the two regions. This will increase accessibility to healthcare benefits for scheme members who may need services while they are away from their respective parent schemes.
The three schemes together have service contracts with 21 healthcare facilities in central and western Uganda. The partner schemes will settle healthcare bills on behalf of each other regardless of where the patient comes from.
Members of the CHI schemes had always demanded for a national level referral facility that can manage some of the complicated cases which the locally contracted service providers cannot handle. The members had also expressed need for a mechanism that enables them to be covered beyond the official geographical catchment of their schemes in an arrangement called portability of benefits.
Previously, it was not possible for the schemes to enter into such arrangements because they were fragile and each of them managed a small pool of funds individually. However, over the past two years, SHU has built capacity of some of the schemes to consolidate their pools to enable them increase healthcare benefits including specialized services which the members have been yearning for.
Introduction: Community Based Health Insurance (CBHI) in Uganda is not a common phenomenon though it has proved to be viable in protecting vulnerable families from catastrophic health care expenditures in areas where it has been implemented. Given its importance, there are some organizations that have found it very vital to promote the community health insurance (CHI) schemes with an interest of solving the problems of limited financial access to quality health care services. However, promoting, growing, managing and sustaining CBHI schemes has remained a big challenge to most organizations supporting this initiative.
Save for Health Uganda having implemented CBHI schemes for 20 years in over 12 districts of Uganda brings a solution by providing short courses on all areas of the CBHI intervention. Come and enrich yourself with knowledge and skills to promote, manage and sustain a viable CBHI scheme.
Aim of the training:
To equip participants with knowledge, skills and tools needed in successfully establishing, promoting, managing and sustaining a Community Based Health Insurance Scheme (CBHIS)
Who can attend:
Scheme managers, Heads of organizations promoting or planning to establish CBHI schemes, Heads of health care facilities providing health care services to CBHI scheme members, authorities responsible for supervising and regulating CBHI schemes, students who wish to pursue a carrier in health care financing, researchers and others.
Organization and method of training:
The training shall be scheduled in two sessions and each session will take four (4) days of face-to-face interactions at a venue in Kampala.
Benefits of the training:
By the end of the training, participants will have gained more knowledge and understanding of principles, types, formation, functioning and management of a CBHI scheme.
CONTENT OF THE TRAINING
MODULE 1: Understanding CBHI and its types.
MODULE 2: Formation and management of CBHI schemes
Each participant will pay UGX 560,000 for Ugandans and USD 160 for international participants for each module inclusive of meals.