Universal Health Coverage in Ethiopia

Ethiopia is making promising progress towards UHC. Established on the gains already made, Ethiopiais taking practical actions that enable the state to move towards UHC rapidly. Attaining UHC by2035 is the direction for Ethiopia’s health sector development through guaranteeing access to all the essential services, for everyone in need, while providing protection against financial risk.

At the macro level, Ethiopia has a health policy which emphasises on healthcare decentralisation and prioritisation of health promotion, diseases prevention and basic curative services. At the meso level, strategic documents such as the 20-year envisioning document and the Health SectorTransformation Plan (HSTP) were developed to guide the priorities within the health sector. At the microlevel, the Essential Health Service Package (EHSP) has been used as a means to guide service provision with a clear stratification of service delivery and financial arrangements.

The Ethiopian government has been piloting and scaling-up Community-Based Health Insurance (CBHI) for the informal sector since 2010 and is establishing Social Health Insurance (SHI) for formal sector workers as a means of achieving UHC. CBHI covers 11 million people making it one of the largest health insurance schemes in Africa.

The Ethiopian Health Insurance Agency (EHIA) has already been established and is undertaking the necessary steps to offer SHI. The agency is working on automating the social health insurance membership registration and follow-up process, and the task of developing a management information system software and implementation manual of the scheme. In addition, various social health insurance implementation manuals and guidelines were drafted and are ready for testing.