THE National Health Insurance Management Authority (NHIMA) is expected to further enhance the cause for Universal Health Coverage but it appears that many citizens have still not registered for this health insurance scheme that will further enhance the health delivery system.Government on their part have rolled out an ambitious infrastructure programme aimed at ensuring all […]
THE National Health Insurance Management Authority (NHIMA) is expected to further enhance the cause for Universal Health Coverage but it appears that many citizens have still not registered for this health insurance scheme that will further enhance the health delivery system.Government on their part have rolled out an ambitious infrastructure programme aimed at ensuring all districts have a health facility but most citizens still remain oblivious to the health scheme that is meant to secure their treatment regardless of location be it urban or rural.At a recent event, NHIMA Director General James Kapesa expressed happiness with the health insurance scheme service delivery at Monze and Chikuni Mission Hospitals.NHIMA Director General, James Kapesa, noted with satisfaction that the health scheme delivery in Monze and elsewhere had seen growth in the past few years.Dr Kapesa said although the scheme faced hitches in the initial stages, it had managed to registered 820 beneficiaries, who were now accessing high quality health services.In January 2020, the Zambian government announced a Universal Health Coverage (UHC) benefits package that covers contraceptive pills, implants, injectables, intrauterine devices (IUDs), and emergency contraception. It is the first UHC financing reform in the region to cover family planning and the first major country-level advocacy win for sexual and reproductive health and rights following the 2019 UN High-Level Meeting on UHC. As the government implements coverage through a nationwide health insurance scheme, Zambian women will receive covered family planning methods for free at all accredited facilities in the program.Over the past two years, the Zambian government has been preparing to launch its first-ever National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) as a key step toward UHC. One of the foundational components of this policy reform was deciding which services, medicines, supplies, and facilities the health insurance scheme would cover at primary through tertiary facilities nationwide.Dr Kapesa said that NHIMA expected more people to register to the health scheme.“I am impressed with Chikuni Mission Hospital for implementing the NHIS to our beneficiaries but I want to state that this success of this scheme will only be realised if we register more people in the both the formal and informal sectors so that we can achieve the three million target in the next two to three years,” Dr Kapesa said.Dr Kapesa disclosed that NHIMA would next year embark on a massive campaign to recruit as many Zambians between ages of 18 to 65 on the scheme as possible.Meanwhile, Chikuni Mission Hospital acting Health Director Dr Kalume Mayombo said the facility received K105,000 from NHIMA as first allocation which was used to buy drugs, Hospital equipment and linen.Dr Mayombo said the funds had significantly helped to enhance health service delivery to beneficiaries of the scheme.However, Dr Mayombo noted that the dilapidated hospital infrastructure, inadequate manpower were some of the challenges the health facility faced with and required urgent attention.“You may wish to know that we started registering beneficiaries of the health scheme in April this year and it is going on well except that we have few challenges such as old and dilapidated infrastructure, shortage of health staff, he said.Dr Mayombo pledged to use the funds from NHIMA efficiently to ensure sustainable health care services were provided to NHIMA members.And NHIMA Senior Public Relations officer, Mutolo Mwaba, said the organisation would actively engage the media to help in sensitizing members of the public and encourage them to register and enjoy the benefits.She noted that many people including some Government officers were still ignorant of the scheme which started few years ago.In light of Covid-19 and many of the long term effects on coronavirus patients, the financial strain to access treatment can be eased by simply signing up to the insurance scheme.The scheme will also provide an assured source of funding that will be directed towards the health facilities in ensuring they are maintained and fully stocked with essential supplies.Let us not wait to get sick, we must as a matter of urgency ensure that we take up health insurance schemes to save our own lives and those of our loved ones.