As the deadline towards payment of premiums for communal health insurance, Mutuelle de Sante draws nearer, the number of subscribers has hit 80 percent across the country, according to the Ministry of Health.
The deadline is January 31, while those categorized as living in abject poverty are supposed to have their premiums met by government.
Addressing a news conference to highlight key achievements and challenges in the course of 2011, the Minister of Health Dr Agnes Binagwaho attributed the quick response to the value and contribution that Rwandans have seen in this health insurance scheme.
Only 24.81 percent of Rwandans fall under category 1 of Mutuelle policy and their contributions will be catered for by the government since they fall largely within the abject poverty category.
The remaining percentage of population is within categories 2 and 3 and is obliged to make their own contribution, at least not later than January 31, 2012.
Those in category two pay Rwf 3,000 while people in the third category are supposed to pay Rwf7, 000, according to the new mutuelle policy.
“The adherence to the new policy on Mutuelle de santé is very impressive,” the minister said. “Even in some areas where we had problems on data verification, these issues have since been resolved and the population is responding positively.”
She said 90 percent of the health sector’s targets in 2011 were realized. They include; construction of new infrastructure across the country, improvement in quality of services, successful rollout of the new policy on health insurance and setting the course for attaining major health indicators and targets within Vision 2020 and MDGs.
She particularly pointed out progress in the fight against malaria and HIV/Aids, reduction by more than half in cases and deaths resulting from maternal and child mortality, immunization coverage of up to 90 percent of children against nine killer diseases, and the growing number of mothers giving birth from health centres.
“The cadres of the health sector have been outstanding in their delivery.”
The minister highlighted the fight against malnutrition, customer service delivery and hygiene, as some of the priority areas in 2012.
“If we can collectively struggle to improve hygiene levels in the country, we will have managed to save a substantial amount of money we spend on diseases related to poor hygiene. This money can be channeled to other crucial areas within our sector,” the minister said.
Dr Binagwaho also outlined some challenges including lack of adequate infrastructure and human resources.