Cameroon takes big steps to implement UHC: Creates a dedicated budget line for UHC amounting to € 53.56 million for the year 2023
Universal Health Coverage (UHC) has taken a centre stage in health systems across the globe following the commitment under United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Cameroon leapt forward from the aspiration to reality to ensure that all people have access to the health services they need, when and where they need them, without financial hardship. The country created a dedicated budget line amounting to € 53.56 million (US$ 51.71 million) for the year 2023 to implement Phase-I of the UHC program. This budget line is entirely financed from national resources included in the Ministry of Health’s 2023 medium-term expenditure framework, and validated by the Ministry of Finance.
The P4H Country Focal Person (CFP) Aminata TOU, plays a unique role of a knowledge broker and a cross sector catalyst in the country.
Since February 2022, Aminata has actively contributed to the UHC technical committee (Phase-I) and promoted collaboration between stakeholders. With her experience of health financing and promoting efficiencies, Aminata led a workshop on the complementarity of existing health financing mechanisms in the country. She successfully led collaboration by bringing together state actors and development partners like the World Bank, WHO, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the French Development Agency (Agence Française de Développement AFD) among others for the dialogue. She also brings in inter-sectoral coordination to facilitate preparation for Phase-I of the UHC program. A Ministry of Finance event defining a simplified payment scheme to ensure the success of the UHC Phase-I allowed Aminata the opportunity to propose suggestions on public financial management rules, which were adopted.
The difference we made
The Government of Cameroon decided to move towards UHC in phases. The Phase-I starting from 2023 will be implemented in 5 of the 10 regions of the country. The beneficiary population of Phase-I will be pregnant women and children under 5. The country plans to cover gynecology-obstetric health care services, pediatric care services (42 days), malaria care for 0 to 5 years old and consultation for children 0 to 5 years. The finance bill will be voted at the end of 2022 with the amount of € 53.56 million. Although the UHC law is not yet passed, the country will draw lessons from the Phase-I to rectify draft law before the National Assembly votes on it.
The creation of this budget line and the effective start of Phase-I of the UHC program is the culmination of the technical work and the Government’s political will to translate the 2019 commitments made by the Head of State into reality.
Photo source: Aminata TOU (P4H CFP), Mbankomo, 04 May 2022, Brainstorming workshop on output-based financing and the integration of existing health financing mechanisms for UHC Phase-I
In the photo on top, from left to right:
1st row from the bottom: Dr Robert MBAH, consultant in charge of health sector at KFW; Mr III IHONG, technical advisor at Prime Ministry; Dr Kakanou ZE, Director of financial resources at MOH; Aminata TOU, Technical Advisor P4H- CFP at GIZ; Yohanna DUNCAN, Team Task Leader WB; Dr Modeste GATCHO, health financing specialist WHO
2nd row: Mr Josselin Guillebert, Director of Project at GIZ; Mr Evinard Gaston deFoix Lead of labor promotion at Ministry of Labor and Social Security; Mr Samuel ATTAGANA, employee at DPS MOH; Representative OF MOF; Ms. Louise BAMBA, Technical Advisor at BACKUP HEALTH/ GIZ
3rd row: Dr Adama BOOBA, Consultant in charge of heath voucher UCPC mechanism monitoring at MOH; Adama TRAORE, Technical advisor for health mechanism at AFD; Ms. Odile UCPC; Dr Patrick MACHE, coordinator of national heath development plan at MOH;
Top Row: Yannick KOUOKENG, in charge of investment planning at the Ministry of Planning; Dr Enock MFOUAPON, consultant in charge of PBF monitoring at MOH and Mr. Bartez PAZIMI lead of budget execution service in charge of user fees at the Ministry of Health.