CAPE TOWN, South Africa, March 11 /PRNewswire/ -- The medical insurance industry in key Sub-Saharan African countries such as Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Zambia, and Malawi is currently in an introductory-to-medium growth stage. There is, however, an increasing level of awareness of the benefits of medical insurance cover among members of the public.
"This is further supported by government efforts to expand coverage of national health insurance schemes such as the National Health Insurance Scheme and NHIF in Ghana and Tanzania respectively," notes (http://www.medicaldevices.frost.com) Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Tiwonge Mkandawire. "The NHIS in Ghana, for instance, currently covers approximately 8.3 million people, more than double the number of people that were on the scheme in 2005."
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Economic growth in most of Sub-Saharan Africa will be one of the determinants of expansion in the medical insurance industry. This is linked to the rising number of people in the middle-income brackets who are better able to afford insurance premiums. In addition, corporate bodies in most of these countries are increasingly relying on private insurers to provide cover for employees as opposed to managing in-house medical schemes.
Despite the large population base, a significant proportion of people in these countries remains uninsured due to high levels of poverty and the inability to afford membership premiums. Additionally, the successful implementation of medical insurance and the health services provided in these countries is still largely dependent on political and governmental will in economic and capacity development.
"There is a large variation in medical insurance coverage in these countries," adds Mkandawire. "For instance, Zambia has less that 100,000 people on private insurance, while Kenya and Ghana have more than 8 million each on some form of medical insurance."
Low-cost medical insurance schemes could be established with allowances for government and non-governmental organisations to subsidise membership for low-income earners who comprise the largest proportion of the population. Additionally, the expansion of national insurance schemes could provide scope for the provision of IT and other support services to the insurers linked to this service.
Despite the challenges, there is strong potential for corporate bodies and other organisations involved in the provision of medical insurance products or other supporting services.
"The main opportunities presented in this industry include the installation and management of IT support systems linking current medical insurers and health facilities," concludes Mkandawire. "Low-cost medical insurance schemes, foreign-based medical services as well as private rural health facilities are other sectors that offer potential for revenue generation."
Medical Insurance in Key Sub-Saharan African Countries is part of the Medical Devices Growth Partnership Service programme, which also includes research in the following markets: Strategic Analysis of the Healthcare Industry in Tanzania, Strategic Analysis of the Healthcare Industry in Kenya and e-Health Initiatives in West Africa. All research included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants. Interviews with the press are available.
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Medical Insurance Markets in Key Sub-Saharan African Countries
Contact: Patrick Cairns Corporate Communications - Africa P: +27 18 468 2315 E: email@example.com
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