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Scaling-up Mutuelles de Santé in Mali Workshop

September 24, 2009 – September 26, 2009

Mali’s Ministry of Social Development, Solidarity, and the Elderly (MDSSPA) has launched an ambitious process to develop and implement a strategy to expand mutuelles de santé nationwide to provide financial access to health care for 80% of its population currently not covered by any form of health insurance. MLI is working closely with the MDSSPA throughout this process, and has also leveraged a constructive partnership with the World Bank’s regional hub for francophone Africa, as well as with the USAID-funded Health Systems 2020 project.

Mali has established a steering committee to oversee the process. While it is chaired by the Secretary General of the MDSSPA, it also includes members from the Cellule de Planification et de Statistiques (CPS), the Ministry of Health, and the Union Technique de la Mutualité Malienne. The steering committee also established a multi-sectoral technical committee to carry out a diagnostic, prepare workshops, and draft the actual strategy.

To launch the process, MLI co-sponsored a kick-off workshop, “National diagnostic and discussion toward scaling up mutuelles de santé in Mali,” held the 24-26 of September 2009 in Bamako. This event drew approximately 76 people from all regions of Mali to share experiences and reach a common understanding of the state of development of mutuelles today in Mali, as well as the goals and plans of the Government to increase its commitment to a more rapid and systematic expansion of mutuelles beginning in 2010. Participants represented civil society, locally elected leaders, and health and social development technicians and decision makers.

The Minister of Social Development, Solidarity, and the Elderly opened the workshop, and thanked MLI for its committed partnership in this important endeavor. The agenda included presentations of context (accessibility of health care and social protection policies), as well as a diagnostic of the state of development of mutuelles de santé today (which cover less than 3% of Mali’s population). Three regions at the forefront of mutuelle development (Sikasso, Ségou, and Kayes) presented their experiences. Based on the major challenges emerging from the diagnostic and the regional experiences, workshop participants were then divided into four working groups to develop strategies to address challenges, accelerate and make more systematic mutuelle development.

MLI has organized a multi-sectoral study tour for Mali to Rwanda October 25-31, 2009 to draw lessons from an African country that has successfully covered more than 80% of its population through mutuelles since 2000. Following the study tour, the technical committee will draft the actual strategy for validation at a second national workshop to be sponsored y MLI in December 2009. Prospects for success are strong, as Mali has already secured funding in the national budget to pilot a co-financing scheme for 51 mutuelles beginning in 2010. Following validation of the national plan, a 3-4 year action plan will be drafted committing the Government to supporting and subsidizing the expansion of mutuelles in a phased, accelerated manner nationwide.

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