As the next step in its mission to extend health insurance coverage to all Malians, the Ministry of Social Development, in partnership with the Ministry of Health, recently held a 3-day workshop to vet and validate the national strategic plan to scale-up of community-based health insurance nation-wide (CBHI, or mutuelles de santé). Participants included representatives from the health and social development sectors, mutuelles, and civil society from all of the regions, as well as national stakeholders, both political and technical. While Mali has put in place social health insurance for formal sector workers and an equity fund to cover the poorest 5% of the population, approximately 80% will need to be covered through CBHI to attain universal coverage. MLI has supported the development of this national strategy from its beginnings, including support to a diagnostic workshop and a study tour for key stakeholders to Rwanda. Shortly after the validation workshop, the technical committee designated for this policy process synthesized and incorporated the feedback received at the workshop into the national strategy document.
Notable features of the strategy are that it includes significant government co-funding of member premiums, and it is built upon Mali’s decentralization health and administrative structures (mutuelles based around communes and community health centers). With technical assistance from the World Bank HSO and USAID-funded HS2020, the technical committee then held a retreat to develop and cost a five-year implementation plan. The strategy, implementation plan, and cost scenarios are being submitted to government authorities for final validation. Scale-up will begin in earnest in late 2010. Please click here to see the workshop materials.