Rwanda has introduced e-payment platform for the community-based health insurance scheme, commonly known as Mutuelle de Sante, to improve efficiency and increase its uptake.
Minister of Local Government, Francis Kaboneka, on Tuesday said they had linked Mutuelle de Sante database to the government’s e-portal Irembo, to ease access of information on the health insurance scheme and to curb the mismanagement of contributions.
“The system will enable people to access medical services using their identity cards, in case they are not having their Mutuelle de Sante’s cards,” Mr Kaboneka said.
Citizens will now be able to make their monthly contributions to the scheme through their mobile phones using MTN Mobile Money, Tigo Cash or Airtel Money.
The government says 2019/2020 contributions will only be received through e-payment.
Currently, people have been paying their contributions through Umurenge Sacco, Irembo and MobiCash.
Mutuelle de Sante has in the last five years been dogged by challenges with uptake numbers declining.
Presently, people living in urban towns are forced to travel to their districts of birth to make payments or renew subscriptions, which inconveniences many.
“Normally people were urged to carry with them the payment receipt to RSSB offices along with stamped document showing off his social category which was sometimes necessitating them to go back to the sector office to get it,” said Mr Kaboneka.
Mutuelle de Sante operates under Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB).
Dr Patrick Ndimubanzi, the State Minister of Public and Primary Healthcare, told The EastAfrican that the new system is expected to increase the number of subscribers and improve services offered by health facilities to the masses.
The scheme is banking on the telephone penetration to make it easy for people from the far-flung areas with limited facilities to pay their Mutuelle de Sante’s contributions on time and also enable those living away from their families to pay from their current location.
According to official data, 81 per cent of Rwandans have subscribed to the community-based health insurance scheme under various social categories.
Six per cent of the population is not covered under any medical scheme.