Faith Kyateka, Head of Communications and Policy at Marie Stope Uganda

The Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have called for re-tabling of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) Bill peddled at providing affordable and quality health services.

The CSOs which included RMNCAH CSO Platform, PATH, Partners for Population and Development – Africa Regional Office (PPD-ARO) Marie Stopes Uganda and Action for Health Uganda re-echoed during the commemoration of the UHC Day held under the theme: Leave No One’s Health Behind: Invest in health systems for all.

Last year, the Parliament of Uganda passed a National Health Insurance Bill that outlines the general structure for a first-ever National Social Health Insurance Scheme in Uganda. The bill was passed with a pre-set benefits package that includes a range of essential health services including family planning counseling and services.

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President Yoweri Museveni however declined to sign the bill and forwarded it back to parliament for scrutiny. Uganda is the only country in East Africa that has not passed a national health insurance scheme and has some of the highest out-of-pocket costs for health in the region.

Upon his election as the Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah said all the unfinished businesses in the 10th will not be carried to the 11th parliament. This implies that all the bills should be re-tabled for discussion.

The 2nd Deputy Mufti Sheikh Muhammad Ali Waiswa said religious leaders are sourcing and collecting factual data to ensure UHC in the country.

“Uganda is facing several challenges among which is the lack of inclusive affordable and quality healthcare. This struggle remains one of the many leading causes of untimely death and high mortality rates as well yet it has several solutions to it. To make health for all a reality, we need effective Primary Health Care. This is how we can protect everyone from health threats and emerge stronger,” he said.

“Over 40% of the healthcare in Uganda is provided through faith based health facilities,” he said adding that Religious will mobilize the masses to register with the scheme.

“When President signs the bill, we shall deploy our medical team and mobilise resources to support individuals who can’t afford to pay for the scheme,” he said.

Ms. Faith Kyateka, Head of Communications and Policy at Marie Stope Uganda, said CSOs will continue with the advocacy for strong equitable health systems that will leave no one’s health behind.

Mr. Joel Ssekibaali said that the MPs should take ownership of innovating health financing as well advocate for health improvement.