Our mutual society project has been put on hold due to new circumstances prompted by the current political crisis in Burkina Faso. It is essential for us to maintain the momentum of a project which we believe to be a priority for the country.
Originally scheduled for 30 October 2014, voting on the universal health insurance act in Burkina Faso (RAMU-BF) had been postponed to 6 November and replaced on the agenda by a draft amendment to the constitution. This draft led to the dissolution of the National Assembly and government as well as a change of president. The universal health coverage act has now been indefinitely postponed.
We have nevertheless continued our efforts as we and our partners firmly believe that this type of project is essential and recent events have reinforced this conviction.
- Universal and affordable access to care and preventive measures is an absolute priority for the people of Burkina Faso, especially when faced with potential epidemics such as Ebola.
- The people have shown the extent of their distrust of institutions and the body politic. By definition, when developing a mutual society-based health insurance system, the people must be consulted and they need to be involved in managing initiatives. Besides improving the country’s healthcare situation, this will enable economic and social democracy to be developed and will help restore trust between civil society and political decision-makers.
Based on the shared notion that the mutual society project is not viable without a law on universal health coverage, all project stakeholders remain mobilised and aim to keep up the momentum. Our partners in Burkina Faso are continuing to communicate with intermediaries and citizens and are in the process of identifying new government contacts. Partners in the northern hemisphere have kept up the momentum with financial and institutional partners and are supporting all initiatives such as the PASS programme that further the cause of universal health insurance.
PASS [Programme d’Appui aux Stratégies mutualistes de Santé] is a programme to support mutual society-based health strategies. It supports mutual society stakeholders in the eight member states of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA): Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo. PASS aims to promote the mutual society movement in the subregion to ensure it is given priority in the current developments to the social protection floors. Providing genuine project owner assistance, PASS enables partnerships to be forged between African and French mutual society stakeholders.