Pension bodies laud Rwanda’s health insurance

Government aims at strengthening pooling between the three pillars of the Rwandan health insurance system by merging the Social Security Fund of Rwanda, medical insurance scheme (RAMA) and the Military Medical Insurance
FINA Bank Branch in Remera.(Photo/D. Kezio Musoke)
FINA Bank Branch in Remera.(Photo/D. Kezio Musoke)

Government aims at strengthening pooling between the three pillars of the Rwandan health insurance system by merging the Social Security Fund of Rwanda, medical insurance scheme (RAMA) and the Military Medical Insurance

Rwanda’s plan for a public health insurance system has been commended by the International Social Security Association (ISSA), saying it has significantly increased health care in the country.

The association’s recent report titled ‘Dynamic Social Security for Africa’ says that community-based insurance in Rwanda, delivered through health mutual funds has seen enormous development.

The report was launched yesterday during the first regional Social Security Forum for Africa in Kigali, Rwanda at Serena Hotel. The forum has attracted 34 participating countries from across the African continent.

The revelations came a few hours after the Prime Minster of Rwanda, Bernard Makuza said in his opening remarks that social insurance penetration in Rwanda is still low at less than 10 percent.

However the report indicates that by 2008, mutual funds covered over 75 percent of the target population in all Rwanda provinces.
And the contributions covering the entire household are relatively low at Rwf1000 percent individual annually.

According to the report, the administrative costs of mutual funds in Rwanda have been kept lower than 8 percent of the revenue and a central reserve fund has been created for emergencies.

In 2001 the Social Security Fund of Rwanda (SSFR) also introduced a medical insurance scheme (RAMA) for public-sector workers, which exists alongside the Military Medical Insurance (MMI).

But the government aims at strengthening pooling between the three pillars of the Rwandan health insurance system by merging the three systems that it is planning.

The report says that Africa remains far from realising the right-based goal of universal health coverage.

It says that the major challenge of the extension of the informal sector-workers, which is complicated by their unstable incomes, limited capacity to pay contributions, and a lack of organization and solidarity in the sector necessary to pool and share risk.

The social security forum goes on until Thursday.

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