By Ritah Kemigisa
Parliament has passed the National Health Insurance Scheme Bill 2019 with amendments at third reading.
The long-awaited bill seeks to provide universal health coverage to all Ugandans.
Parliament moved to pass the bill after it rejected a request by the health minister in charge of general duties Robinah Nabbanja to withdraw it citing some inaccuracies that need to be corrected.
However, Kadaga blocked her attempts saying the bill has been shelved for too long further challenging her to defend why the government introduced the bill in the first place.
The Parliament health committee chairperson Michael Bukenya then went ahead to read the bill for the second time revealing how they had agreed as a committee that membership to the scheme should be compulsory to all, while contributions and premium should be dependent on actuarial studies which will form the basis of determining the premium for purposes of affordability and fairness.
The scheme seeks to pool resources, where the rich will subsidize the treatment of the poor and the healthy will subsidize the treatment of the sick, young and elderly.
Currently, most of the required services are not available in the Government health facilities and when Ugandans resort to private health facilities, services are expensive and yet health insurance cover stands at 1% to 2%.
The bill now awaits assent from the president to be made a law.