Muhanga mayor warns against denying healthcare to the poor

Muhanga Mayor Yvonne Mutakwasuku has called upon health centres and community health insurance scheme “Mutuelle de Santé” managers not to deprive people of their rights to get medical treatment under the pretext that they have not yet paid their contribution towards the scheme for the year 2013/2014.
Mayor Mutakwasuku.
Mayor Mutakwasuku.

Muhanga Mayor Yvonne Mutakwasuku has called upon health centres and community health insurance scheme “Mutuelle de Santé” managers not to deprive people of their rights to get medical treatment under the pretext that they have not yet paid their contribution towards the scheme for the year 2013/2014.

Mutuelle payment was harmonised with the fiscal year, which starts in July, and all residents were supposed to have remitted their contribution to the health scheme.    

There have been reports that some health officials deny healthcare services to those not in possession of mutuelle card for the new financial year. 

“That is criminal. Stand warned that if someone dies, it will be your own fault,” Mutakwasuku told insurance managers and health centre directors in a meeting on Wednesday.

A resident of Nyamabuye Sector told this paper that she was once sent out of a health centre where she had gone for a routine check-up for diabetes. 

“When I handed them an old insurance card, they scolded me and told me to get out and look for a new card. I’m still looking for money to pay medial insurance to be able to go for the check-up, ” the woman, who asked not to be identified, said. 

Mutakwasuku urged health workers to come up with innovative ways to collect insurance contribution without compromising people’s rights to healthcare.   

She said the decision to stop provision of healthcare to patients who are yet to pay subscription is taken by the Ministry of Health and communicated to districts in writing. Such a communication, she added, is yet to take place.
 
Target 

Ten days into the new insurance year, Muhanga District has registered only 8.8 per cent of subscribers.

The delay in insurance subscription is due to negative attitudes of some residents who refuse to pay, officials said. 

Officials said efforts are underway to increase the number of subscribers from the 8 per cent to 80 per cent by September.

Mutakwasuku urged residents to have positive attitude about the health scheme because they are the beneficiaries. 

“If you don’t pay your contribution, it’s as if you are playing with your own life,” Mayor Mutakwasuku said.

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