The Zambia Federation of Employers (ZFE) and Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) have opposed the Ministry of Health’s decision to present the National Health Insurance Bill to Parliament without meaningful consultations with key stakeholders.
The National Health Insurance Bill once passed will create an institution to be called National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) that will be given legal mandate to collect money from all workers and employers through the payroll and from every Zambian aged 18 years and above including prisoners.
The money to be collected is said to be used by the government to provide medical services to Zambians through government health institutions.
ZFE President Wesley Chishimba is concerned that if this bill is passed, no Zambian will be allowed to receive any medical service in any government health centre without a financial subscription to the National Health Insurance Authority.
Speaking at a joint press briefing, Mr. Chishimba says this will have a negative impact on an ordinary employee’s payslip due to the huge sums of money they pay in form of taxes to the state.
Mr. Chishimba further states that the proposed bill will create a burden to every Zambian especially to the majority of the unemployed youths who are struggling to survive.
Speaking at the same briefing, ZCTU Deputy Secretary General Elaston Njovu has appealed to the Health Minister to consider withdrawing the bill from Parliament says it does not mean well for the Zambian workers.
Mr. Njovu feels the Health Insurance Bill intends to introduce a Labour related legislation, as workers will be required to contribute to the scheme.