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NHIA Increases Efforts To Achieve Universal Health Care

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The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) is undertaking vigorous reforms to strengthen the scheme and boost membership.

According to Management, the Authority is determined to register at least 99 per cent of the Ghanaian population under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to push the country to achieve Universal Health Care (UHC) of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

As at 2017, the NHIS had registered 37 per cent of the national population, approximately 10.58 million active members, with about 45 per cent of them being in the informal sector.

But, interacting with the media on Thursday in Sunyani, Mr. Oswald Essuah-Mensah, a Deputy Director responsible for membership and regional operations of the NHIA, said the Scheme was going through reforms to boost membership and to strengthen it as well.

He said the Authority is aware of the inconveniences members went through during renewals, adding it has therefore developed an electronic application system that would enable beneficiaries to renew their membership through their mobile phones.

The mobile application, expected to take-off in 2019 would enable members to easily to renew their memberships either at their homes, offices or any other location without necessarily walking to the offices of the NHIS.

Various offices and outlets of the NHIS in the country would then concentrate on the registration of new members, he said.

Mr. Essuah-Mensah said because of operational inefficiencies and challenges, the Scheme was bedevilled with fraud and announced that the NHIA was currently finalizing processes to obtain fiat from the Attorney-General to empower the Authority to prosecute.

Currently, Mr. Essuah-Mensah said 517 medicine lists were placed on the NHIS and had 4,500 Service Providers, regretting that because 80 percent of claims were prepared manually, it was difficult to tackle fraud.

He expressed optimism that the Authority would take advantage of technology to tighten its internal control systems.

Source: GNA

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