Belgium supports health insurance system in Senegal
Only one out of every five Senegalese people has health coverage. Enabel, the Belgian Development Agency, is helping the government of Senegal put in place a health insurance system in the departments of Koungheul (160 000 inhabitants) and Foundiougne (280 000 inhabitants). Several pilot programmes are testing a flat-rate payment system. Membership is voluntary through a contribution to a health insurance account. The Enabel project then transfers a complementary sum, a function that the Senegalese government will take over at a later stage. Professionally managed departmental health insurance units (UDAM) administer the financial contributions. They also manage various exemption mechanisms including free service delivery for family security grant beneficiaries. The flat-rate paying system will help reform how health care is financed. This is an essential step in the development of mandatory health insurance and, eventually, universal health coverage.