As the Special Law Commission on the review of the Public Health Act is conducting regional consultative meetings, delegates have given a united view on the need for Malawi to introduce mandatory health insurance to attain universal health coverage.
At a meeting held in Blantyre yesterday, delegates argued that free delivery of health care is under threat as health facilities face financial challenges that affect service delivery.
In his remarks, Health and Rights Education Programme Malawi executive director Maziko Matemba said: “The current Act, which was enacted in 1948, is not in tandem with what is happening on the ground. Mandatory health insurance is very important as it will protect Malawians by ensuring equal access for all.”
The commission chairperson Justice Dingiswayo Madise said introduction of mandatory health insurance would also help control cost of private insurances in the country.
Said Madise: “We want to hear people’s views on whether to make it mandatory that every Malawian should be under medical insurance. We want to make it much cheaper by making specific provision in the Public Health Act.”
The delegates to the meeting also spoke of the need to make all health facilities accessible to people with disabilities, among other issues.
The commission has conducted a similar meeting in the Central Region and it is moving to Mzuzu this week.