The National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) plans to launch community health fund services (CHF) for Dar es Salaam residents beginning July, this year in an effort to improve health service delivery to the people.
NHIF official charged with CHF services, Rehani Athuman, told a training workshop for print media sub-editors and electronic media producers in Dar es Salaam at the weekend that the services would be introduced in all three municipalities of Ilala, Temeke and Kinondoni.
“We are in a process of launching a grand sensitization campaign to ensure that Dar es Salaam residents get required information about CHF services and register for it,” he said in a presentation on CHF services.
He said the Fund has prepared an inclusive framework for the people to fully participate in establishing the services and monitoring their implementation with the guidance from CHF experts.
“We won’t own the services…the people themselves will decide how much to pay annually and they are the ones who will monitor the delivery of the services in their areas,” explained the CHF official.
According to Athuman, the mode of deliver of CHF services in Dar es Salaam will be slightly different compared to rural districts because each beneficiary will be required to register and access the services by presenting the CHF card to a health facility within the municipality he or she lives.
Each family member will be registered separately for CHF services in the three municipalities and that contributions will be done per head, not per household, as done in rural councils, he said.
In rural councils, subscribers register as households and they contribute between 5,000/- and 20,000/- annually to access medical services in health facilities located within their councils.
He said the coverage of CHF services, which so far is only 10 per cent of the total 44 million people in need of them in the country, would be extended to 45 per cent by the year 2015.
The CHF official informed that as the country struggles to improve the services, it could borough a leaf on effective implementation of CHF services from two African countries of Ghana, where coverage has reached 60 per cent and Rwanda, which already commands 91 per cent coverage.
Athuman said, despite challenges faced in implementing CHF services in rural areas, including lack of drugs in some health centres treating its members on special agreements, a few success stories have been recorded in Iramba and Morogoro districts.