Do People Sign Up for Insurance in An African Country Like Tanzania?

Posted by FinancialInclusion on January 22nd, 2018

In the public versus private insurance debate, Africa is a continent that does not take part because, it is such a dirt-poor continent, that it is all public, yet struggles with funding for healthcare for its citizens. However, the issue of costs is important because these countries struggle with the basic needs are not met and has consistently struggled with the AIDS epidemic. Private insurance takes the burden out of a country’s GDP spending publicly, which is what first world countries are trying to get more of their public on to relieve the pressure of their public spending.


Health Care in Africa

Healthcare comes at a hefty price that most people can barely afford a fraction of. For those with a two-tier system, only the wealthy has the access to quality care while everyone else struggles with state-run facilities that are worsening with consistent costs rising. Out-of-pocket health payments in health care spending in sub-Saharan Africa has dramatically risen in the last twenty years and drags family into poverty because it’s so expensive. National medical insurance co average plans, while technically universal, they still will cover part of the population.

South Africa, the nation closest to first world state status in Africa, actually spends more on private health insurance as part of health expenditure than any other country in the world. That being said, it only covers 16% of people because the country struggles with an unequal access to health care among classes, so it has started a full universal health care system that provides free health care to all citizens. Rwanda has become the latest country to implant a successful universal health care system with public spending.

Tanzania’s Insurance

Financial Insurance

Tanzania, as a third world country, has very low global standards of healthcare facilities. Because it lacks capital, health care is only 5.6% of the GDP and does not have efficient staff and technology to provide the population. It is ranked at 156 by the World Health Organization in overall health in the bottom tier of global healthcare. While the country has universal health care, the quality of facilities, only in the big cities, are poor, and any foreigners staying long term in Tanzania would have to go private medical insurance, including for medical evacuation to neighbouring states that have better medical standards, such as South Africa.

Having access to health care is a struggle in Africa, let alone for Tanzania because of the economic problems that the country faces , so this goes on to affect the healthcare system. For the ill, the lack of funds in health care, as well as the poor infrastructure and lack of clean water, electricity, and healthcare workers all play a role in the struggle for providing health care. There is no money for a vast majority, if not all, to invest in private insurance. Private insurance companies have to offer affordable coverage to low-income families, which seems impossible for the reasons mentioned above, and nations look to aid from the Red Cross and UNICEF among others for health care.

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