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[Profile of members and non members of mutual health insurance system in Rwanda: the case of the health district of Kabutare]

Laurent Musango, Bruno Dujardin, Michèle Dramaix, Bart Criel
Tropical Medicine & International Health 2004, 9 (11): 1222-7
15548320
The establishment of mutual health insurance systems is one of the priorities of the Rwandan government. Pilot studies have been conducted in three districts of the country. Nonetheless, after 4 years of implementation (1999-2003), the population coverage by these insurance systems remains relatively low. A cross-sectional study of 1042 households in the Kabutare health district allowed for a comparison of socio-economic and demographic variables, and the medical, surgical, gynaecological, and obstetrical history of health insurance scheme members and non-members. The results of the study demonstrate that the distribution of members and non-members is similar in terms of sex, marital status, professional status and medical history. However, larger households (more than five members) and those having a relatively higher income (more than USD 230 per annum) are more likely to be insured than other households. Members of the mutual health insurance use more the health services than non-members, spend less on health care and increasingly maintain membership. The study emphasizes the relevance to further promote mutual health insurance, but also points to the need for mechanisms to ensure financial access for the poor rural population.

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