The United Nations Resident Coordinator, Rosa Malango has demanded for the immediate enactment of the National Health Insurance Bill, 2019 by the 10th Parliament to enable empower Ugandan women more.
Malango was on Monday 8th March, 2021 speaking at an event in State House, Entebbe Uganda commemorating the International Women’s Day 2021. The day’s event presided over by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni was commemorated under the theme; Building on Women’s Strength for a Better Future in the Covid-19 World.
“We call on the 10th Parliament to prioritize into law some of the pending Bills including the National Health Insurance Bill, Pensions Bill, Minimum Wage Bill and Legal Aid Bill,” said Malango.
Her call follows shortly after a demand by the Faridah Kimbowa, the Chairperson of the National Women’s Council . She said, “The Health Insurance Scheme should be considered to enable Ugandans access specialized treatment at a minimal cost. Many Ugandan women are dyiung because they don’t have money to transport them to government health facilities or pay the bills”.
The National Health Insurance Bill, 2019 is currently before Parliament. But recent reports showed that government was considering withdrawing it following disagreements between various stakeholders including the private sector, National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and different insurance regulatory authorities.
Last month, Dr. Moriku Kaducu, the Minister of State for Health (Primary Health Care) said that following a meeting with the President and other stakeholders, it was established that there were disagreements on contribution and benefits of the Bill, which are core objectives of the scheme.
According to the Bill, all Ugandans above 18 years will be required to contribute to the scheme before accessing health services across the country. It also proposes a 4% deduction on salaries of employees in the formal sector while their employers will contribute 1% to the health scheme. Individuals in the informal sector are proposed to pay 100, 000 Shillings annually.
Malango described the women’s day commemoration as an opportunity to reflect on the progress in regard to recognizing and promoting women leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the role in addressing its social economic impact.
She said, “ This is the first commemoration of Women’s Day since the COVID-19 pandemic . The pandemic has exacerbated gender inequalities and increased violence in homes. But there is need for a concerted effort to improve the social economic status of women and girls by eliminating all forms of violence and harmful practices including child marriages and Female Genital Mutilation –FGM.
According to a Uganda Police Report, a total of 16,242 cases of Gender Based Violence-GBV were reported between January and June 2020.
The National Women Council’s Faridah Kimbowa said that the figures have proven that GBV is a threat to humanity especially women and girls.