Morocco: Project to generalize social protection launched under King’s chairmanship
King Mohammed VI chaired, Wednesday at the Royal Palace of Fez, the launching ceremony of the implementation of the project to generalize social protection, which represents a genuine social revolution given its direct and concrete impact on the improvement of the living conditions of citizens, the preservation of the dignity of all Moroccans and the protection of vulnerable categories, particularly in times of economic turbulence, health risks and various emergencies.
This Royal project, which will initially benefit farmers, craftsmen and professionals, traders and independent service providers subject to the unified professional contribution scheme (CPU), the auto-entrepreneur scheme or the accounting scheme, will be extended, in a second phase, to other categories with a view to ensuring the effective generalization of social protection to all citizens.
After the screening of an institutional film on the various initiatives undertaken by the King in the social field, the minister of Economy, Finance and Administration Reform, Mohamed Benchaaboun, delivered an address before the Sovereign in which he stressed that this project is in line with the Royal guidelines related to the launch of a large-scale reform project for the generalization of social protection for the benefit of large groups of citizens.
Benchaaboun underlined that this societal project, keenly followed up by the Monarch, represents a genuine social revolution as it will have direct and tangible effects on improving the living conditions of citizens and preserving the dignity of all Moroccans, while contributing to integrating the informal sector.
The implementation of this large-scale societal project constitutes a starting point for the achievement of the King’s aspirations in favor of all the components of Moroccan society, in terms of responding to the challenge of the generalization of social protection, and represents, moreover, a lever for the integration of the informal sector into the national economic fabric, so as to guarantee the protection of the working class and its rights, as well as a decisive turning point on the path towards the achievement of the balanced development and social and spatial justice.
The minister who recalled that the framework law on social protection for all was adopted by the Council of Ministers of February 11, 2021 and was approved by the Parliament, said this framework law is the cornerstone and the frame of reference for the implementation of the King’s enlightened vision in the field of social protection, and the achievement of the royal noble objectives, the most important of which are the support of the purchasing power of Moroccan families and the achievement of social and spatial justice.
It will also ensure the optimal implementation of this reform according to the timetable and axis set out in the speeches of the Sovereign, he noted, recalling that this concerns, firstly, the generalization of the basic compulsory health insurance during the years 2021 and 2022 by broadening the base of beneficiaries of this insurance to include vulnerable categories benefiting from the Medical Assistance Scheme and the category of professionals and self-employed and non-salaried persons, who exercise a liberal activity, so that 22 million additional people benefit from this insurance, which covers the costs of treatment, drugs and hospitalization.
Secondly, the generalization of family allowances during the years 2023 and 2024 allowing households, which do not benefit from these allowances, to receive benefits covering the risks associated with childhood, or lump sums, said Benchaaboun, noting that the third point relates to the expansion in 2025 of the base of members of pension schemes to include people who are employed and do not receive any pension, through the implementation of the pension system specific to the categories of professionals and self-employed and non-salaried people who are exercing a liberal profession, in order to include all categories concerned.
The fourth point mentioned by the minister concerns the generalization of the compensation for loss of employment in the year 2025 to cover any person exercising a stable job through the simplification of the conditions to benefit from this allowance and the expansion of the base of recipients.
“The management of these programs by 2025 will require the allocation of a total annual amount of 51 billion dirhams, including 23 billion financed by the general budget of the State,” said the minister of Economy, Finance and Administration Reform.
He said in this regard that the implementation of this forward-looking project requires the amendment of a set of existing laws and regulations, the development of new texts, and the launch of a set of structural reforms that concern the upgrading of the health system and the reform of the compensation system, so as to address the imbalances in the targeting of categories eligible for assistance, along with the operationalization of the unified social register.
The implementation of this major social project also requires the development of management methods, including those related to the governance of social security agencies, with a view to creating a unified body for coordination and supervision of social protection systems, he said.
He underlined that the generalization of the medical coverage requires to take up a set of challenges which concern in particular the low rate of medical supervision, the important deficit in human resources and their unequal geographical distribution.
Accompanying measures must also be adopted and will be aimed at intensifying training programs and consolidating medical skills of health professionals so that they can meet the demand, which will increase at a rapid pace with the implementation of this major societal project.
It is also about, according to Benchaaboun, strengthening national medical capacity and fighting against the deficit in health executives, necessary for the success of this reform, through the opening of the practice of medicine to foreign expertise, the encouragement of international health institutions to work and invest in Morocco, and the capitalization on successful experiences, in accordance with the High Royal Instructions contained in the opening speech of the Parliament for the year 2018.
On this occasion, King Mohammed VI chaired the signing of three framework agreements on the generalization of the basic compulsory health insurance for the benefit of the category of professionals and self-employed and non-salaried persons exercising a private activity.
The first framework agreement concerns the generalization of compulsory basic health insurance for the benefit of traders, craftsmen, professionals and independent service providers subject to the unified system of professional contributions, the auto-entrepreneur system or the accounting system, which includes more than 800,000 members.
The second framework agreement concerns the generalization of the basic compulsory health insurance for the benefit of artisans and craft professionals (about 500,000 members).
The third framework agreement, concerns the generalization of the basic compulsory health insurance for farmers (about 1.6 million members).
Benchaaboun explained that about 3 million members, traders, independent service providers, artisans, craft professionals and farmers, in addition to their families, will benefit from the basic compulsory health insurance, i.e. a total number of beneficiaries of nearly 9 million citizens, which represents about 83% of the targeted categories of professionals, self-employed and non-salaried exercising a private activity.
The minister of Economy & Finance pointed out that the agreements relating to the remaining categories, including transport professionals and independent professionals (engineers, doctors, lawyers…) will be signed in the coming weeks.
“Therefore, 11 million independent citizens and their families will benefit from the basic compulsory health insurance in 2021,” said the minister, noting that all necessary measures will also be taken to allow 11 million poor and fragile citizens currently involved in the system of medical assistance RAMED to begin to benefit from the basic compulsory health insurance starting from 2022.
Thus, about 22 million additional beneficiaries will be able, during the years 2021 and 2022, to be insured against diseases, with the same basket of treatments covered by the National Social Security Fund for private sector workers, as well as access to services provided by the private and public sectors, he concluded.