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From June 26 to July 9, m4h hosted a high-level delegation of the Ethiopian Health Insurance Service (EHIS) headed by the General and Deputy General Director of EHIS. The Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health was also represented in the study tour through their Director of the IT Department.

The study tour took place in the context of the EU-funded project “Technical Assistance to develop Health Insurance Information System platform for the Ethiopian Health Insurance Service”. Over the course of this two-year project, the EHIS and m4h teams will develop two information systems, one to support the Community-Based Health Insurance (CBHI) Schemes and the other (prototype) to support the forthcoming Social Health Insurance (SHI) Scheme.

Germany was chosen as the host country for the study tour. Nevertheless, its focus was European-wide, aiming specifically to introduce the participants with the health insurance ecosystems and the supportive information systems of three European Countries: Germany, Croatia and Estonia. Each day of the study tour was conceived as a workshop where the participants attended one or more keynote lectures and then engaged in discussions with the purpose of identifying best practices and lessons learned relevant for the Ethiopian context.

Germany has the oldest and largest functioning social healthcare system and Croatia one of the most effective, recently developed health insurance systems in the European Union. For these reasons, both countries were chosen as a blueprint for EHIA to follow. The health insurance system in Croatia is frequently cited as an international best practice. It helped the Croatian healthcare system to depart from the Semashko-type healthcare system and embark towards a modern health insurance-based system. The Croatian Health Insurance Fund (CHIF) has also started a 2-year project of IT modernisation to further advance their information system in support to their health insurance processes such as e-prescriptions, membership management, reimbursement etc.

The study tour was concluded with a two-day workshop where lessons learned and best practices were discussed in the context of the two in-depth assessments that were just completed, the technical and functional assessment of the Ethiopian Health Insurance System. The outcome and recommendations from the assessments that have been previously discussed with the various department heads who were present, were discussed in a roundtable format and important decisions were made for the future of the project.

The delegation’s visit to GIZ to know more about Open IMIS and its practical use
The delegation has a call with IN2 Grupa, to understand the Croatian health sector software programme. They work with hospitals lab insurance companies and healthcare institutions to manage the information systems and e-health systems in Croatia.