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iCHF - How a public-private partnership can help make healthcare work in Northern Tanzania

iCHF (‘improved CHF’), is a voluntary, district-owned health insurance scheme that aims to increase access to quality healthcare for people in rural and low-income groups in Tanzania.

  • Dec 16, 2016
iCHF publication

Click on the image above to read the iCHF paper

Many solutions for better access to healthcare are available right now. The challenge is to get them implemented on a larger scale. One promising approach is currently underway in Northern Tanzania, where PharmAccess is working with the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) and the district councils (local government) to roll out a public-private health insurance scheme for low-income people in the informal sector. If successful, Tanzania could become the one of the first countries in Africa to make the health system work for everyone, rich and poor.

iCHF (‘improved CHF’), is a voluntary, district-owned health insurance scheme that aims to increase access to quality healthcare for people in rural and low-income groups. It offers affordable access to both private and public care, and emphasizes quality improvement through training, equipment provision and infrastructure upgrading. iCHF was built by a strong partnership between NHIF, the district councils, public and private healthcare facilities, and PharmAccess. It was introduced at the end of 2014. By September 2016, more than 100,000 people had enrolled.

While it is still early days, this approach shows great promise and the scheme continues to build momentum.

This paper provides an insight into the workings of iCHF. It highlights the unique elements contributing to its success, the numerous paradigm changes it is making, as well as the challenges that still remain.