A kick-off workshop on piloting a sliding scale-based community-based health insurance scheme in Ethiopia has been conducted in Oromia and Sidama national regional states.
The kick-off workshop was conducted at Hawassa and Adama on October 29 and 30, 2023, consecutively, where key stakeholders from the different levels of the health care system and regional leadership, including high-level regional political leaders, regional health bureau vices, zonal administrators, mayors, Woreda administrators, and CBHI coordinators, participated. During the workshop, representatives from the Ethiopian Health Insurance Service (EHIS) presented the rationale for transforming the existing CBHI scheme into an economic-based approach, piloting strategies, roles, and stakeholders. Sidama regional health bureau vice head, Mr. Yohannes Latamo and Oromia regional health bureau vice head, Mr. Dereje Abdenna underscored that the pilot project is expected to generate evidence that has the potential to transform the CBHI system into an equitable, simplified, and financially sustainable scheme. They ascertained that the regional health bureau is very happy to implement the pilot project and is ready to adopt and scale up the outcome of the pilot project.
The research aspect of the pilot project was presented by the principal investigator, Prof. Zewdie Brihanu, where he explained the role of Jimma University in the piloting project and stated that Jimma University undertakes the impact evaluation of the pilot project.
Following presentations, discussion and deliberation were held and moderated by regional health bureau heads, political leaders, and an Ethiopian health insurance service delegate. They underscored that the success of the pilot program is highly dependent on leadership commitment at all levels and called for strict follow-up to ensure smooth implementation of the pilot program.
Finally, the regional health bureau forwarded directions for cascading down the pilot program with an outline of implementation timelines to start implementation of the project in pilot districts (4 districts in Sidama and 9 districts in Oromia).
The pilot project is financially supported by the Fund for Innovation in Development (FID) through Partnership for Economic Policy (PEP) and will be implemented until 2026.
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