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Compulsory health insurance makes progress in Morocco

By Sarah Touahri for Magharebia in Rabat – 28/09/08

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Public health insurance has been compulsory in Morocco for three years now, and according to the National Fund of Social Providence Organisations (Caisse Nationale des Organismes de Prévoyance Sociale, or CNOPS), the new scheme has performed well despite some limitations.

CNOPS chief Abdelaziz Adnane recently allayed public fears that the fund would be affected by a shortage of funds in the medium term. With the introduction of compulsory health insurance, the fund's financial resources nearly doubled to more than 3.2 billion dirhams in 2007. Officials say the cash boost will improve the way the fund operates.

Problems such as rising drug prices and the low use of generic medicines persist, however.

Adnane has called on the Ministry of Health to review its drug policy, in particular with regard to profit margins, which account for as much as 30% of the cost of drugs. Another difficulty is Morocco's aging population. Before health insurance was made compulsory, people over the age of retirement accounted for just 16% of all insured persons. That figure now stands at 22%.

Employment Minister Jamal Aghmani said great efforts have been made to guarantee the quality of services. Aghmani plans to continue these efforts by extending the scheme to new categories of people, in particular students in higher education and professionals such as doctors and engineers.

Aghmani added that the CNOPS has greatly improved its management of the public-sector compulsory health insurance system, including speeding up the processing of applications and offering better care for patients. Since the plan's inception, the number of reimbursable drugs has increased from 1,000 to 2,497 and the implementation of an IT system cut reimbursement waiting times from several months to less than one month.

The CNOPS says it has also removed restrictions in 87% of operations and extended agreements to cover medical expenses from two to five years for patients suffering from cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure. In three years, 700,000 new beneficiaries have received coverage, bringing the total number of insured persons to 3.2 million.

Fatima Ben Cherif, who is covered through the scheme, is satisfied.

"Before, I didn't have any coverage. I didn't go to see a doctor even when I was ill. But for the last three years things have been different. I received a reimbursement within two months," she said.

Siham Bouhafa said the new CNOPS website enables people to check the progress of their applications and find out how long it will take to get reimbursed.

"This has shortened the endless queues of people seeking information at the CNOPS offices," she said. "It is hoped that payments will also be made online in the near future."

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  1. Anonymous thumb

    عبد الرحيم الطويل 2014-9-16

    I have no comment. I just have an observation. I have been living in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia for 20 years. How can I enrol in medical insurance or social security? Advise me, may God reward you with good!


  2. Anonymous thumb

    مليكة الغالمي 2014-5-31

    My mother lives outside Morocco. She is retired. But in spite of this, they deduct the mandatory insurance fee although she doesn't take any treatment as she lives abroad...


  3. Anonymous thumb

    Elmoussaoui abdel 2013-6-18

    Authorities responsible of health security in Morocco are still oscillating between standing and falling in this vital service especially in terms of performance. Why don't you take the example of the Netherlands? Settlements should be directly between hospitals and pharmacies. Everyone takes its share. Where are our technical experts? There is a fear of the mandatory health insurance, fear of liquidity. Is it a fear of excessive or insufficient liquidity? I see excessive liquidity throughout the recovery of the health sector in my country. I am an immigrant who will go back to my country this year. This is what worries me in my country: the health sector. But as the Moroccan proverb wrongly says "death with relatives is entegrity". It means following others or should one say o Lord this is enormous! So wait for Nakir if you don't change yourselves. Today there is action without accountability and tomorrow accountability without action. Hold yourself responsible before you are held accountable! These are suffering bodies and souls, so be merciful to people! Have mercy on those on earth so that God in heaven will have mercy on you. I hope I won't be disappointed. I expect all the good of you. Salam.


  4. Anonymous thumb

    mohamed 2012-12-18

    Salam alikum. I am Mohamed from Berkane. My mother has cancer. When we went to get a treatment, we didn't even get the simplest care nor any moral support. What we see in the media is different from the reality.


  5. Anonymous thumb

    wijdane 2011-8-11

    Hi! My father has leukemia. Doctors say that there is no hope of recovery. Is there any other way? I am very confused. Please help me!


  6. Anonymous thumb

    HASSI 2010-3-18

    Hello- My brother-in-law has a chronic disease requiring lifelong imura and colchicine treatment. Does he qualify for insurance without paying medical expenses and hospitalisation? -Thank you


  7. Anonymous thumb

    محمد 2009-7-23

    How can I register in order to benefit from services of mandatory medical insurance?


  8. Anonymous thumb

    ابو يوسف 2009-6-2

    When will be a medical coverage for poor Moroccans and needy disabled people?


  9. Anonymous thumb

    سمراي 2009-4-24

    In reality, health insurance has become an important issue in the absence of public social services provided by citizens. But it is noticed that they are similar. Even if you have an insurance, there are no services provided by insurance companies. The process of getting reimbursement is complicated and very slow. But sometimes, you don't get them. We also record many violations of laws. But no one reacts neither officials nor officers. They are accomplices in corruption.


  10. Anonymous thumb

    benaribi 2008-11-29

    When will there be medical coverage for Morocco’s poor people?


  11. Anonymous thumb

    essaadi 2008-10-26

    Family companies although prosperous refuse to register their personnel to the social coverage. Impossible to impose the thing to the owner if not the door. What to make?


  12. Anonymous thumb

    عبد الرحيم خي بابا , المغرب الملاحظ 2008-9-29

    On September 21 of the year 2007, the list of the members of "High Council of Moroccan Community Abroad" was announced. This caused some frustration, deprivation, anger, treason, and shame among Moroccans living abroad. This has made all the community understand that through this initiative, it will have to organize itself to protect itself against some groups in Morocco which are now afraid to lose control through its representatives abroad. But the persisting question is: what does it want to control? Do they think that we are thoughtless or without culture? Do they understand, at least, why we have left our countries to immigrate abroad? Do they grasp the extent of difficulties which we faced and the sacrifices we made in order to integrate societies of host countries? Do they know that this decision covers both the optional and compulsory? We had to leave our countries because we were unable to achieve what we want. We don't deny that we have immigrated only for work and jobs. Evidence of this is that there are still to this day many university graduates who try to leave their countries to avoid remaining in the shade, seeking light and in order to confirm their identity. Some of them are waiting in ports in hideouts which are like dog houses looking for an opportunity to cross. As days go, whales in the Atlantic ocean and the Mediterranean are offered meals of human bodies from the corpses of our citizens. Today, they announce such news to the press and media in North America and Europe. So how can they not immigrate while some don't see death as an obstacle to immigration? In reality, something inside of him has died. He is living just on the margin without anything. There is no social coverage or help even for the needy. Everyone wants to leave Morocco. The oddest thing is that even the airport officer who seals our passports asks us about possible ways to immigrate to Canada. He also asks for our phone numbers to get more information to facilitate immigration. The dignity of the Moroccan citizen was and still lies in his work and right to a dignified life with his family. Today we see that he is losing his dignity and honour day after day.


  13. Anonymous thumb

    BEN 2008-9-29

    This makes no sense. The minister charged with the guardianship of CNOPS is the Employment Minister and not the Minister of Finance, who has all the power to get things done and, moreover, to actually do it. When are we going to have some administrative reform to get the state in order? Or do we each get our small and large inheritance?


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