POLICY: Researchers want adoption of a single health insurance fast-tracked

Policy Brief #8
April 21, 2021
POLICY: Researchers want adoption of a single health insurance fast-tracked

Public health researchers have called for the fast-tracking of the implementation of a single national health insurance in Tanzania in an effort to ensure that vulnerable groups as also covered and thereby achieve equity and inclusivity in the country’s social health protection schemes.

The researchers, Dr. Sally Mtenga, Prof. Febrizio Tediosi, Dr. Grace Mhalu, Doris Oseiafrinyie and Brady Hooley, from Ifakara Health Institute, Tanzania and the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Switzerland, sounded the call in their technical recommendations when reporting their research findings for a Swiss National Science Foundation-funded Research for Development (R4D) study which focused on “Stakeholders’ Opinions Regarding Equity and Inclusiveness in Accessing Social Health Protection in Tanzania.”

“Tanzania is making progress towards achieving equity and inclusivity in its social health protection schemes. However, governance-related hurdles potentially limit optimal progress toward achieving equity and inclusivity in social health protection schemes for poor and vulnerable groups,” says the researchers in their policy recommendations posted on the Ifakara Health Institute website.

“Therefore, policy makers may consider implementing the following measures: improve the availability of funds at health facilities [and] speed up the implementation of a single national health insurance,” they recommend. Other policy measures suggested by the researchers are: strengthen collaborations with local communities, non-governmental organizations and private entities; extending the improved Community Health Fund to mission hospitals and private health facilities; and maintaining a database for validating whether or not one is truly a member of a vulnerable group.

Background: More About the Study

The study investigated perspectives of stakeholders on how equity and inclusivity in access to social health protection schemes can be promoted in Tanzania. Researchers analyzed data from interviews carried out between June and December 2019 in Dodoma, Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro regions. They involved multiple stakeholders from the Government, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), district and regional officials, and local community members and leaders. #

Read the Policy Brief here: Stakeholders’ Opinions Regarding Equity and Inclusiveness in Accessing Social Health Protection in Tanzania.

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