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Cameroon – Health: Here are the proposals of the Doctors Trade Union to finance the universal health insurance

Written by Deckson N.

In a strike on 15-17 May, because it claims universal health insurance, the  Cameroon Doctors Trade Union (Syndicat des médecins du Cameroun – Symec) has just made available to the media its financing plan for a system that allows everyone, Have access to health care.

According to the magazine Investir au Cameroun which says that it has covered the document, the Symec offers for example contributions for employees. For example, a fixed percentage can be deducted from the basic salary (5% of salary). For informal sector workers, the Union suggests taking a percentage of their income from the taxable value (5% income).

For non-salaried employees, a monthly package (1000 FCFA per month per preschool children, pupils, students and unemployed) is proposed. This, according to Symec simulations, would give a minimum of 300 billion FCFA to the health insurance fund.

Another strategy for medical doctors is a health tax in different sectors. Thus, since Douala International Airport receives 500,000 passengers a year and Yaoundé Nsimalen receives 200,000 passengers, a tax of CFAF 5,000 per passenger would generate about CFAF 3.5 billion to the health insurance fund.

The imposition of berthing of ships at the port could generate 110 billion FCFA. And this on the mere hypothesis that the Douala Port Authority hosts 11 million tons of goods. A health tax of 10 000 FCFA per tonne of goods would actually give 110 billion.

Other sectors: Breweries. For doctors, it is quite normal that alcohol be taxed for the management of the health problems of Cameroonians. With 620 million liters of beer consumed by Cameroonians in 2013 for national production only, by imposing 100 FCFA per liter of beer, or less than 50 FCFA per bottle of beer, this will allow the health insurance to garner at least CFAF 62 billion to the health insurance fund. This not counting imported beer. In 2010, Cameroon imported nearly 11 million liters of alcohol in 2010. This would have given 1 billion FCFA to the health insurance fund.

With a turnover of more than 500 billion in 2013 for the duopoly MTN and Orange, a health tax on the telephony sector even at 0.5% will bring together at least 3 billion for health insurance. This would make it possible to replenish the health insurance fund by at least CFAF 543.25 billion, i.e more than 2/3 of Cameroonians’ health expenditure.

In February 2017, the National Inter-Sectoral Technical Committee, responsible for providing Cameroon with a universal health coverage system, presented the organizational and technical characteristics of the architecture scenarios of the system, including the development plan that will be developed and produced in the first half of 2017. Its legal framework will also be submitted in the same year. The final document could be presented in November 2017, according to André Mama Fouda, the Minister of Public Health.

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Deckson N.