Rwanda: Health insurance to cover COVID-19 costs

Move will encourage patients to seek timely treatment, says official

James Tasamba   | 17.01.2021
Rwanda: Health insurance to cover COVID-19 costs

KIGALI, Rwanda

The Rwandan Ministry of Health directed public health facilities Saturday to expand health insurance coverage to include coronavirus-related treatment in a bid to reduce mortality.

Hospitals were urged to immediately start billing and invoicing services for COVID-19 patients, and request compensation from health insurance providers.

The new directive is in response to a recent spike in infections and fatalities, according to Cornelle Ntihabotse, the head of the department of clinical and public health services in the health ministry.

Health insurance for the virus is especially important because it will encourage patients to seek treatment at health facilities and reduce mortality, said Ntihabotse.

The move is in line with the government's decision to integrate COVID-19 management with the existing health system, whereby community health workers follow up patients who are not in critical condition with home-based care.

While the treatment bill has previously been footed by the government, health insurance providers will pick up between 85% to 90% of the cost covering ambulance, oxygen medicine and consultation.

Rwanda’s daily infection has surged in recent days, blamed on complacency.

The health ministry recorded a record number of new cases Saturday for the third straight day, with 277 infections.

The latest figure brought the tally to 10,850 with 7,193 recoveries and 140 deaths.

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