Tajikistan plans introduction of mandatory health insurance
Participants at a health financing roundtable meeting organized by Tajikistan's Ministry of Health and the WHO Country Office on 2 December 2013 initiated development of a roadmap for timely and smooth introduction of mandatory health insurance in Tajikistan in 2017.
The roundtable discussion brought together the main stakeholders involved in developing the health financing sector, including representatives of the Ministry of Finance and development partners.
The roundtable was opened and chaired by Dr Jobirova, First Deputy Minister of Health. The aim of this roundtable was to identify the next steps in preparing for introduction of mandatory health insurance in 2017, based on the successful experiences of other countries in the region, such as the Republic of Moldova.
Dr Ursu, WHO Representative in Tajikistan, highlighted the importance of financing reforms as a catalyst for implementation of other reforms in the health sector.
The Moldavian experience was presented by Dr Mircea Buga, Director of the mandatory health insurance agency in the Republic of Moldova. The starting points for introduction of mandatory health insurance, including the economic environments of the two countries, are quite similar.
Ongoing WHO support
WHO has provided significant assistance to Tajikistan in preparing and implementing major health financing reform and the move toward universal health coverage. The main aims are to ensure quality health care services and better financial protection of the population, with a particular focus on vulnerable groups.
A national law approved in 2008 called for introduction of mandatory health insurance in Tajikistan in 2014. The Ministry of Health therefore requested WHO in 2013 to provide technical assistance for a feasibility study on this issue. Based on the results of this study and comments provided by other ministries and agencies, the Ministry of Health proposed that introduction be postponed until 2017.
The MHI feasibility study and round table were conducted as part of the project “Support to the health policy analysis in Tajikistan” funded by the European Union.