The recent arrest of several Rusizi District top officials, including the Mayor, over mismanagement of contributions towards the community based health insurance, commonly known as Mutuelle de Santé, is a relief to the ordinary citizens.
It sends a clear signal to all those who had plans to dip their hands in the Fund, that the long arm of the law will catch up with them. Mismanaging health care insurance premiums is criminal and perpetrators of such acts should not be allowed to walk scot-free.
The ongoing investigations into the matter should leave no stone unturned in order to help bring to justice everyone who had a role in the scam. And stringent measures should be put in place to safeguard the medical insurance premiums to avoid similar cases in the future.
The mismanagement of the funds not only denied the citizens of Rusizi the healthcare they paid for, but could also discourage people from paying their premiums to the Fund.
At a time when the country was gearing towards ensuring that every Rwandan subscribes to health insurance, such cases are a big setback to these efforts, and the perpetrators should be held accountable.
There is also need to ensure regular audits on how people’s health insurance premiums are managed. The problem could be bigger and probably other districts could as well be facing the same problem.
As Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB) gears up to take over the management of the scheme, appropriate mechanisms should be put in place to ensure that people’s funds are properly managed so they access the healthcare services they pay for with ease.