Health insurance helps to solve income inequality

The government of Rwanda has in the past tried to develop and promote the health sector by ensuring that people have access to health services. Mutuelle de Sante and RAMA as public health services have relieved people of high costs of medical treatment.

The government of Rwanda has in the past tried to develop and promote the health sector by ensuring that people have access to health services. Mutuelle de Sante and RAMA as public health services have relieved people of high costs of medical treatment.

People have been sensitized to join the Mutuelle du Sante to enable them access to quality medical care and reduce the death rate as well.

Ever since the public service health system was introduced several years ago, the number of people joining its services has increased presumably and is estimated to be at over 60 percent.

According to a research by the Ministry of Health, the number of people using this health service will rise to 90 percent by the end of 2010.

Under these public health systems, poor people are able to pay costs for specialised medical care such as orthopedic surgeries as well as buying drugs for postoperative management.

The correlation between health care and income has generated great interest. Due to the fact that non-communicable or chronic diseases such as cancers have been detected in many of our societies, one has to think how the poor can get access to the costly drugs and expertise to treat such infections.

The health sector is one of the challenging aspects on the world economy and the availability of its services correlate with the economy of the country and the continent in general.

Many drugs for chronic diseases are imported at very high prices here in Africa and in low quantities. Their high prices make them inaccessible to many.

Tropical diseases such as malaria have been treated very easily in most of Sub-Saharan Africa and acquisition of mosquito nets has slowed down its threat.

Income inequality is accompanied by many differences in conditions of life at the individual and corporate levels, which may adversely influence health.

Important to note is that interpretation of links between income inequality and health must begin with the structural causes of inequalities, and not just focus on perceptions of that inequality.

This also shows that reducing health inequalities and improving public health in the 21st century requires strategic investment in neo-material conditions via more equitable distribution of public and private resources.

According to the individual income interpretation, aggregate level associations between income inequality and health reflect only the individual level association between income and health.

This interpretation assumes that determinants of population health are completely specified as attributes of independent individuals and that health effects at the population level are merely sums of individual effects.

Sometimes associating between income and health at the individual level is important in understanding differences in health between individuals. It also indicates that individual income may be less important in understanding variation in health across aggregated units.

Policies on wages, investments, and taxes help determine the extent of unequal income distribution across the population, and this distribution then influences individual incomes.

However, important also to mention is that interpretation of links between income inequality and health must begin with the structural causes of inequalities, and not just focus on perceptions of that inequality.

It does not also fully reveal the ambiguous health consequences of tight social networks and greater social cohesion as regards health and income of our citizens.

Strong social networks can be coercive and can be sources of strain as well as support in relationships. Therefore, network ties function to enhance health but on the other hand can be detrimental.

In Rwanda, many health centers have been built at district level and targets have been drawn to set up a health unit at every sector level by the year 2020. This is in line with Rwanda strategic plan to improve the accessibility of health care services to its citizens.

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