The Ugandan government has unveiled its grand plan to burden every adult citizen with mandatory contributions to a national health insurance scheme. As if life in Uganda wasn’t challenging enough, authorities are now demanding a piece of your hard earned income.
Dr. Sarah Byakika, a top Ministry of Health official, announceD this coercive scheme at a recent conference in Kampala. However, she conveniently failed to explain how they intend to strong arm every Ugandan above 18 into coughing up cash for this dubious endeavor.
And if you thought this was a bad idea, you’re not alone. Professor Ben Twinomugisha, a law expert at Makerere University, has sensibly urged the government to pump the brakes on this ill conceived program. He pointed to the success of Rwanda’s health insurance scheme and suggested that Uganda should take a leaf out of their book. But of course, the government seems more interested in plucking money from its people than in genuine solutions.
Meanwhile, Dr. Elizabeth Mugambe, a representative from the World Health Organization, tried to put on a façade of support for Uganda’s questionable move. She spoke about human rights and commitment while conveniently ignoring the fact that this policy will force people into financial hardship.
Let’s compare this to Rwanda, where 92 percent of citizens enjoy the benefits of their health insurance scheme. For just $8 a year, they receive basic healthcare services, including maternity care and treatment for common illnesses. Uganda, on the other hand, remains one of the few countries without a national health insurance policy, leaving its citizens to fend for themselves in the face of exorbitant medical bills.
The Ugandan government’s primary objective is supposedly to reduce out of pocket healthcare expenses. However, their method of achieving this is to dip their greedy hands into the pockets of hardworking Ugandans. They plan to finance this scheme mainly through contributions from employees, both salaried and self-employed. In other words, they’re picking your pockets while promising to offer you a lifeline.