All forms of health insurance schemes to be used for COVID-19 treatment

On 17 January 2021 at 09:58

The Ministry of Health has ordered all public hospitals to treat COVID-19 patients using all forms of health insurance schemes including community-based health insurance schemes known as Mutuelle de Santé as well as Rwanda Social Security Board’s RAMA. The decision is to be effected from February, Saturday 16th 2021.

The directive is announced 11 months after the Government of Rwanda has been handling COVID-19 tests and treatment for free.

With the decision, Covid-19 management will be integrated in the existing health management for treatment and will use health insurance schemes.

The latter allows health facilities to start billing, processing invoices and requesting compensation by health insurance.

The Minister of State in the Ministry of Health in charge of Primary Healthcare, Dr. Tharcisse Mpunga has told IGIHE that insurance companies have accepted to cater for the cost of Coronavirus treatment as the pandemic has spread out across the country.

“Coronavirus has spread across the country; patients can now get treatment from various health facilities. We have already engaged with insurance companies operating in Rwanda which have expressed interest in catering for treatment cost. This will be helpful to people given that health facilities where they have been seeking medical attention for various diseases like Asthma and HIV are closer to their communities,” he said.

Previously, the cost of treatment of Covid-19 cases in public treatment centers was handled by the government and free for patients.

Dr Mpunga has explained that the decision to integrate Coronavirus treatment cost into health insurance schemes was taken due to extremely up surging cases.

“The Government has been catering for treatment cost for 11 months but financial constraints are apparently increasing that it cannot continue catering for total costs,” he said.

In September 2020, the Government of Rwanda initiated home based care to follow up COVID-19 patients from their homes. Latest figures from the Ministry of Health shows that 2800 people are attended to under this approach.

On 17th December 2020, the Ministry of Health authorized public health facilities across the country to conduct COVID-19 tests to facilitate rapid testing to a large number of people.

A total of 42 private health facilities across the country are allowed to use rapid diagnostic tests which are priced at not more than Rwf10,000.

Rwanda confirmed the first COVID-19 patient on 14th March last year. Since then, 10,850 people have been tested positive out of 791,472 sample tests of whom 7193 have recovered, 3517 are active cases while 140 have succumbed to the pandemic.