The Ministry of Health has announced that a significant 91 percent of the Rwandan population were subscribers to different health insurance schemes by the end of 2008. A very good development and almost not heard of in Sub-Saharan Africa!
With more efforts, the figure will undoubtedly go up to 100 percent and Rwanda will again be in the world headlines. Considering, the rate at which Mutuelle de Sante, the communal health insurance scheme has been growing; with the objective of having all Rwandans insured by the end of this year is achievable.
For a scheme that started in 2003 with only 7 percent subscription countrywide, the percentage has grown to a whooping 91 percent within just five years.
This has in turn significantly reduced the number of mothers dying during labour from their villages because they could not afford hospital charges and of course, steadily making the malaria epidemic that has proven to be a major problem to developing countries history.
People can access treatment on time. Let the government keep up these relentless efforts not only by encouraging Rwandans to join Mutuelle but also other schemes like RAMA, MMI and others. The best part of the insurance schemes is that it does not discriminate against the poor, or the less privileged.
However, Government must ensure that this system is water tight in screening, the have’s and the have not’s. It also has to keep an open eye for opportunists who may masquerade as being poverty stricken and in need of medical attention, to rip the government off under the local government fund that pays for those who cannot afford to settle medical bills.
Courtesy of the decentralisation process, the exercise of choosing the bonafide beneficiaries has been made easier.