The government of Cameroon has been urged to introduce a wide range of reforms that will help boost and improve on the insurance uptake by Cameroonians.
The call was made by a panel of experts yesterday, September 23 during virtual meeting organised by the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation.
Under the theme “Perceived Barriers to Low Uptake of Insurance Case in Cameroon”, panelist threw light of the factors hindering the access and subscription to health care insurance schemes in Cameroon as well as propose feasible solutions to these challenges.
According to Dr Ghislaine Gayap, Executive consultant and pecialist in marketing and operational management, very few Cameroonians take the initiative to subscribe to a health insurance policy. While many believe this phenomenon is caused by low incomes, she argues that it is rather a cultural issue because the National Social Insurance Fund has set the platform for insurance companies to doll out flexible insurance health scheme but it is still not well perceived by Cameroonians.
“Cameroonians prefer to go directly to the hospital and pay for their medical bills. We have more and more come to discover that health insurance subscription is mostly embraced by workers of the public sector as well as formal workers in the private sector,” she added.
Low income earners find it hard subscribing to an insurance scheme because they think they don’t have the financial ability.
To Mildred Njamnsi, Technical Advisor GIZ North West Region, the government of Cameroon has been making efforts to promote Community-based micro health insurance schemes and has elaborated this in the health sector strategic plan.
However, she pointed out to the lack of a will power by the government to regulate the sector thus making it difficult for the population to have trust in these schemes for the uptake of the subscriptions. She also added that there is need for government to improve on the quality of health care services through equity in order to enable the population to find a satisfactory health offer.
She called on the government to encourage community-based insurance schemes that have stood the test of time by effectively communicating and getting them into proximity marketing. Above all, she called on the government to regulate the sector for people to truly believe in it in order boost subscription, but above all introduce a universal health coverage scheme in Cameroon.