The health sector witnessed a historic move this Friday after Community Based Health Insurance (CBHI) commonly known as ‘Mutuelle De Santé ‘ was handed over to Rwanda Social Security Board.
Health facilities will no longer suffer drugs shortage which has been affecting the patients under CBHI. “We shall speed up compensation of health facilities, like in other insurances,” David Kazoora, the communication specialist for RSSB told KT Press.
This move, it is believed, will prevent situations where patients have been failing to receive medication before they cleared medical bills.
Also, on a broader picture, the decision to merge RSSB with Mutuelle is expected to solve issues of managing the fund and disbursement.
Beneficiaries had to pay their contribution at the beginning of the year, but in many instances some of them would not get proper medical care on time. Secondly, procedures to refund medication fee to a health facility for the CBHI beneficiary were involving a lot of bureaucracies and were cumbersome.
A CBHI staff from every health center had to collect money from beneficiaries and to deposit it to a district account.
The district had to transfer the money to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, which would transfer money to the account of health facilities that treated a CBHI beneficiary, upon presentation of bills by the district.
This long process has always caused mismanagement and fraudulent activities in the health insurance and occasionally faced huge arrears.
Apparently, the CBHI system owes Rwf13 billion worth of arrears to different hospitals, according to Solange Hakiba, the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Health.
“RSSB will not inherit the arrears,” says Hakiba, adding that Finance Ministry has secured funds to clear the arrears by the end of October.
Meanwhile, beneficiaries will still be registered at health centers by the same workers who were transferred to RSSB. However, the money will be deposited into RSSB’s accounts and will clear any bills coming from service providers (health facilities).
“We are working on a system that will minimize fraud and at the same time allow quick reimbursement,” has said Jonathan Gatera, the RSSB Director General.
As far as reach is concerned, beneficiaries will have the right to get medication at any health center in Rwanda for any illness or any medical consultation. Such an arrangement had been only saved for all other insurance schemes except for Mutuelle
Mutuelle De Santé, created in 2003, caters for over 85% of the population, with beneficiaries paying only between Rwf3000 and Rwf7000 per every year, depending the revenue of a household defined by Rwanda’s status categorisation.