The Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB) plans to conduct countrywide sensitisation campaigns on payment of health insurance (Mutuelle de Santé) premiums for this fiscal year.
Speaking at a hand-over ceremony, on Wednesday, the newly appointed director-general of RSSB, Jonathan Gatera, said there is need to remind the public to pay their health insurance premiums.
“The number of those who have paid for health insurance is too low, but we hope the sensitisation campaigns will see an increase in the number of people paying for the insurance,” Gatera said.
Figures reveal that only 30 per cent of eligible citizens have paid community health insurance premiums since RSSB took charge of Mutuelle de Santé in July 2015.
By 2010, subscription stood at an average of 91 per cent, according to reports from the Ministry of Health.
The scheme has generally been a huge success attracting international acclaim.
However, along the way, some challenges were reported leading to a probe that led to arrests of some local leaders in Nyamasheke, Karongi, and Rusizi districts as government moved to revamp the fund.
The country’s community health insurance subscriptions briefly dipped before increasing from 73 per cent in the fiscal year 2013/14 to 76 per cent for the year 2014-1015.
Finance minister Claver Gatete, presided over the hand over ceremony between Gatera and the outgoing director general, Dr Daniel Ufitikirezi, at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning headquarters.
The minister challenged the new director general to find durable solutions to the challenges faced by RSSB.
“The country always expects a lot from its servants, especially those who can turn problems into solutions no matter what the problems are,” he said.
He also advised the new director general to work closely with other stake-holders to achieve the institution’s goals.
Gatera, who was appointed by Cabinet earlier this month, has been acting as the director general for financial stability at the National Bank of Rwanda.
In his acceptance speech, Gatera said there are no priorities among his duties as they are all equally important.
“My wish is to see all things on track. The success of the institution depends on strong collaboration between its stakeholders. So we are ready and eager to create a strong relationship with our stakeholders,” he said.
Minister Gatete acknowledged that Mutuelle de Santé faced many challenges, including embezzlement of funds in districts but said durable solutions were underway.
“Anyone involved in embezzlement of citizens’ health insurance fees will be held accountable. We are looking for ways to recover embezzled fund,” he said.
Dr Ufitikirezi had served as RSSB director general since February 2014.