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Morocco to Extend Health Coverage to 90% of Moroccans By 2021

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Rabat – Morocco’s new Minister of Health, Anas Doukkali, has announced his determination to extend “universal health coverage” to the majority of the population, especially those from low-income backgrounds with low prospects of health insurance.

Doukali made the announcement yesterday, during an informal meeting that also served as a belated celebration of the International Health Day (April 7). At the event, the new minister reiterated his department’s ambitious plan to devise and implement a health insurance system to cover approximately 90 percent of the population by 2021.

The objective of the plan, said Mr. Doukali, is to make Moroccan healthcare inclusive and supportive of Moroccans from poor and disadvantaged backgrounds. In order to effect such  bold measures to help huge sections of the population, teams in charge of implementing the new system will be working under, and guided by the slogan “Health for All,” the minister noted.

For Anas Doukali, as the right to health care provisions is a “universal right,” and establishing an inclusive and affordable system is among the pillars of good governance, inclusive access to health care is also “one the top priorities of decision-makers.”

The minister reiterated his determination to keep and rekindle the existing medical assistance program, System of Medical Assistance (RAMED).  RAMED, which has been in use for nearly six years, has been helpful in extending health coverage to over 60 percent of the population. Although these figures are “honorable,” Doukali noted that there still is a lot of work to do in order to establish “an ambitious system, as the national health coverage is still at an embryonic stage.”

Doukali explained that the main goal of officials in the health sector will be to boost the responsiveness and effectiveness of RAMED, such that future objectives can be attained in a more timely and efficient manner.

RAMED is currently set up to be an outlet through which the government would lend enormous support to those unable to afford health coverage. This new and aspirational assistance system will underpin a belief echoed by the minister that,  “policy and decision-makers are doubly responsible and integral stakeholders in the transformation of their country’s health system.”.

In its efforts to meet or satisfy the requirements of the Millennium Development Goals, Morocco will have to integrate and “federate” all the necessary efforts to ensure that its citizens’ “rights to health and well-being” are accorded paramount importance, the minister concluded.

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