Insurance Fund targets 30% of Tanzanians

The National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) is targeting to expand its services and cover 30 per cent of Tanzanians come 2015.

The state-owned medical insurance institution currently covers only 14 per cent of Tanzania’s 45 million people, according to its officials.

Speaking during the launching of the new board of directors for the NHIF at the weekend, the new chairman Ambassador Ally Mchumo said the fund’s services were accessed by few but its long-term plan remained to cover 100 per cent of Tanzanians.

“Only few Tanzanians have access to services offered by the National Health Insurance Fund. The current figure is 14 per cent of Tanzanians but the target is to reach 30 per cent of Tanzanians by 2015,” said Mr Mchumo.

Earlier the minister for Health and Social Welfare Dr Hussein Mwinyi said that it was a pity that few Tanzanians benefit from the services offered by such institution.

Dr Mwinyi said that it was contrary to the government policy which had a vision of enabling all Tanzanians to enjoy the better health services through increasing efficiency and effectiveness of the NHIF.

The minister also urged the NHIF to design new products, especially for offering specialised services such as coverage of Neurosurgery, dialysis, cancer treatment, treatment of cardiac diseases and dental surgery.

“I don’t know why specialized services are not covered by the national health insurance fund. It is high time that these services are covered,” said the minister in his speech to launch the new board for NHIF.

Recently the marketing and public education manager of NHIF, Ms Angela Mziray, told The Citizen that until June last year the NHIF had a total of 6,353,312 members.

Ms Mziray said that there is still low public awareness on the benefits of joining the NHIF to enjoy several schemes offered to cover health risks.

“Many people do not bear in mind that health risks are unpredictable ,” she said.
Source: The Citizen, reported by Ludger Kasumuni in Dar es Salaam
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