HEALTH minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya says the introduction of compulsory National Health Insurance will ensure that no Zambian will have to suffer financial hardships in accessing healthcare as all will be covered. Dr Chilufya on Saturday announced the National Health Insurance Management Authority (NHIMA) Board that would oversee the governance of the National Health Insurance Management Authority.
The NHIMA Board, appointed by Dr Chilufya, was as stipulated in the National Health Insurance Act No. 2 of 2018, assented to by President Edgar Lungu in April 2018. The 14-member board will be chaired by Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba, and deputised by Kingsley Chanda, the Zambia Revenue Authority Director General.
Other Board members include the Accountant General Dr Dick Sichembe, Comfort Mulenga from the Attorney General’s office, Kakulubelwa Mulalelo, Permanent Secretary – Administration in the Ministry of Health, Pamela Kabamba, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services, Ulaya Musonda from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.
The other members are Churches Health Association of Zambia executive director Karen Sichinga, Chipango Muteto from PTA Reinsurance, Exhildah Lumbwe from Prima Re, Newman Bubala from the Zambia Congress of Trade Unions, Ernest Mande from Zambia Federation of Employers and officers from the Public Service Management Division and private sector trade unions.
Announcing the Board, Dr Chilufya implored the board to work diligently to ensure that the ambitious goal of Universal Health Coverage was achieved by guaranteeing that health insurance coverage was increased from the current four per cent to 100 per cent. He stated that investment in health was key to economic development.
Dr Chilufya said health care financing was an essential pillar on which a nation’s health system stands.
He said with the introduction of compulsory National Health Insurance, no Zambians would have to suffer financial hardships in accessing health care as all would be covered.
Dr Chilufya announced that a one per cent contributory rate had been agreed to be paid by all employers and employees into the National Health Insurance Scheme.
He stated that this rate would enable the contributors and their registered beneficiaries to access health services without having to pay out of pocket at the point of accessing care.
And Yamba assured of the Board’s commitment and dedication in ensuring that the goals of enhancing access to health services for all without suffering financial hardship was achieved.
He stated that the board would immediately begin to work closely with the NHI Implementation team and realise the vision of government in the health sector.
Dr Abel Kabalo, the Ministry of Health spokesperson explained that the one percent contributory rate was of one’s gross salary.