The Minister of Local Government has revealed that this year Rwanda government will only pay Community Based Health Insurance (Mutuelle de santé) for less than 200,000 Rwandans following the fact that some of the beneficiaries can afford the costs.
Local government officials said the government will only pay for 180,631 (9.0%) out of more than two million who have been benefiting from the support.
Residents told the national broadcasting Agency that through poverty alleviation programs (VUP) some beneficiaries have been able to afford the insurance through hard work, savings, and resilience.
Olive Mukayiranga, a resident of Gakenke district says that through the VUP program she has been able to earn income, buy domestic animals and construct a house for herself.
“There is no need to keep asking the government for support. At some point we also have to afford this considering the level of income or even get employed to do so,”Mukayiranga said.
Medical services covered under the annually subscribed CBHI include; drugs and medical services provided from health post or health center, district or provincial hospital and even referral hospitals.
Contribution is made depending on the Ubudehe category in which individuals are.
Category I pays Rwf3,000 per person and this category is supported by the Government and other donors, Category II & III pay for themselves Rwf3,000 per person and Category IV pays Rwf7,000 per person
The community-based health insurance scheme year starts on 1st July and ends on 30th June of the following year.
Many residents like Nzeyimana say that they know the value of the CBHI scheme as it covers their healthcare needs at a time when government is also planning to increase access to healthcare and digital health services.
Despite this, RSSB says that there are still some citizens who do not understand the value of having health insurance.
Minister Jean Claude Musabyimana said on July 10, 2023 that the next plan is to use community educators to empower beneficiaries in mindset, sign a contract to get out of poverty, so that they can also support others.
“The benefiting citizens will be supported for two years, and then sign an agreement to work towards alleviating themselves from poverty,” Musabyimana said.
Musabyimana noted that the initial support from all stakeholders (donors and government) will have to be collective and comprehensive in a way that addresses the issue of poverty.
Since 2015, the CBHI scheme has been placed under the management of Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB) and the contributions moved from 73%, reaching 79% in 2020 and 87% as of 2022.
In 2022, the government said that there are new sources of funding for the scheme to raise an additional Rwf27billion on top of the funds that the scheme gets in the budget allocation.