Tanzania’s Minister of Health Hon. Ummy Mwalimu recently disclosed to the media that the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Bill will be read again in Parliament on 31st January 2023, and is expected to come into effect in July of the same year.
The much-awaited universal health coverage means that every Tanzanian citizen, or resident in Tanzania, should have health insurance, whether working or not, which will take care of their health in the country.
Dr. Baghayo Saqware Commissioner of the Tanzania Insurance Regulatory Authority (TIRA), explained that “Once the bill is passed and enacted by Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu Hassan, it will be enforced after six months of transition to prepare for the implementation.”
The bill was first tabled in parliament in September 2022, after being postponed for several years, and was to be read for a second time on 11th November to be deliberated and passed. However, the parliament decided to return it to the Social Services and Community Development Committee for further consultations.
In addition, Hon. Mwalimu also disclosed that government, through the Ministry Of Health, expects to come up with a guideline for medical expenses in public health service centers in the country, which is expected to come into effect in February 2023.
She made the announcement when she made a surprise visit to the Temeke regional referral hospital to see the state of health care provision as well as listen to the concerns, advice and opinions of the people on the availability of health care services in the country.
Minister Mwalimu said that previously there was no specific guideline for the costs of seeing a doctor, thus causing many centers that provide health services to have different costs that are not compatible, thus causing more inconvenience to the people.
She said that maternity, mother, and child services will continue to be provided free of charge and asked the service providers to comply with the government’s instructions and not to charge the public for these services.