The community based health insurance scheme (CBHI), commonly known as Mutuelle de Santé, that has been managed under the Ministry of Health since its inception was yesterday officially handed over to Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB).
Speaking to the media after receiving the scheme’s essential document, yesterday, Jonathan Gatera, the director general for RSSB, said suitable measures have been taken to better manage the scheme to ensure users get quality services.
He said, “One of the solutions is that arrears worth Rwf13bn are to be paid soon to hospitals. We have also opened accounts in SACCOs and banks to ease paying of subscriptions; and are now targeting mobile phones.”
“We plan to negotiate with districts and referral hospitals on how Mutuelle users can benefit from quick and quality services,” Gatera explained.
To ensure quality management of the scheme a taskforce composed of different ministers and a technical taskforce were set to analyse possible challenges the scheme might face and ways to address them.
The ministerial task- force composed of the ministers of Local government, Health, Finance and Cabinet Affairs meet on a monthly basis while the technical task force meets on a weekly basis to ensure any challenges are detected early enough and ways to tackle them devised.
However, Dr Solange Hakiba, the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Health, said there is a need for more campaigns to mobilise people to increase subscriptions that currently stand at 67.6 per cent countrywide.
She said, “The shift will continue to foster efficiency in accountability and provision of quality health care. There is a need to increase the number of subscribers to ensure debts do not accumulate again.”
“The debts to be paid to health facilities do not mean that there has been poor management of Mutuelle de Santé rather it’s down to the fact that some people are yet to subscribe to the scheme. Sometimes district hospitals could fail to pay their debts in district pharmacies and then request patients to buy themselves medicines,” Dr Hakiba clarified.
The documents handed to RSSB include annual report 2011-2012, ministerial instructions, the legal framework and technical documents.
Different institutions will continue to play distinct roles in the scheme, with the Ministry of Finance will overseeing the finance management through RSSB, while the Ministry of Health will determine the service packages and continue to improve the quality of care.
The Ministry of Local Government will continue to play its role in mobilising and sensitising people to pay their premiums, whereas RSSB will manage the funds at the national level, oversee registration of subscribers and ensure that they benefit from quality health care.
The National Bank of Rwanda will also monitor the functioning of the scheme as it is mandated to monitor all insurance companies in the country.