On Monday 8th November 2021, Gambia’s Minister of Health Dr. Ahmad Lamin Samateh tabled the National Health Insurance (NHI) bill 2021 before lawmakers with the hope of securing its legislative consideration, scrutiny, and adoption. The Minister made the following remarks in the Parliament before the lawmakers.
The right to affordable, quality health care services is a fundamental human right recognized under the international covenant on economic, social, and cultural rights, as well as other regional and international instruments to which the Gambia is a party. To fulfill these rights, sustainable innovative health care financing, should be ensured and hence the national health insurance scheme. Madam Speaker, on the basis of the principle of universal health coverage, the Gambia government initiated the introduction of the national health insurance scheme, with the aim of improving access to affordable quality health care services for all.
According to the Minister, the scheme is expected to benefit the population by reducing out-of-pocket (OOP) expenditures on health provide protection against the financial risk. As of 2017, OOP was estimated to be 24.55% of the total health expenditure.
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