Rwamagana-The Ministry of Health has come out to clarify the increase in health insurance fees, with the wealthy expected to pay Rwf 7,000 per year.
The National Coordinator of Mutuelle de sante, Herltilan Inyarubuga, said the hike was necessary to achieve sustainable quality health care.
In an interview with The New Times, Inyarubuga explained that the population was classified into six categories basing on income levels.
“The well-to do will pay Rwf 7,000, while the low income earners will pay from Rwf 2,500 to Rwf 3,000. The good thing is that all categories will enjoy equal access to health services, irrespective of differences in premiums,” he said.
He said the revised fee was settled on after realizing that the previous fee of Rwf 1,000 was inadequate, adding that it had undermined the real intention of providing quality services.
He noted that with increased fees, patients would be able to access treatment for a wide range of illnesses.
“Mutuelle de sante was becoming unsustainable with heavy unpaid debts. Consultation is Rwf 2,500, delivery by caesarean in district hospital is Rwf 25,000 and in the referral hospital in Kigali (University Teaching Hospital), it goes up to Rwf60,000. This is what we are trying to check,” Inyarubuga explained.
Commenting on the development, Bugesera Mayor, Louis Rwagaju, said: “The process of classification should begin forthwith and in a more informed manner to avoid controversies.”
He stated that it was good that the rich pay more than the poor. He however advised that the poor should be dissuaded from producing many children to reduce the burden on the rich.
However, Damascene Niyonzima, 45, a resident of Kibungo in Ngoma District, lamented the increase, saying that even the preceding fee of Rwf 1,000 per head was already a burden to some families.
“I have a neighbour who has failed to pay for the health insurance because of the big number of children. He has 7 children meaning he requires a total of Rwf 9000 for the family. Unless, people produce few children I am afraid the good program will remain wanting,” he said.