The integration of the Ghana Card and the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) card will propel the country’s efforts towards achieving the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) agenda, Mr Kasimu Abudulai, Upper East Acting Regional Director of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) has said.
Few days ago, Vice President Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia announced that the processes to integrate the two cards were completed and that Ghanaians could use the Ghana card to access NHIS services.
This, Mr Abudulai who is also the Regional Operations Manager, NHIA, said the link up of the Ghana Card and NHIS card coupled with the mobile money renewal system would ensure that stress associated with queuing to acquire and renew NHIS cards would drastically be reduced.
“The issue of having to go and queue for the Ghana card and NHIS card is off the gear and because of the mobile money renewal system, you can renew your card without going to the office.
“Then also, there is a cost associated with the health insurance card, if you misplace the NHIS card, you have to go and pay GH?8.00 to get a new card, but once the NHIS card is linked to the Ghana card, once your NHIS card is missing you will not have to go and pay to get a new card, you can use the Ghana card to access health services,” Mr Abudulai noted.
The Acting Regional Director made this known to the media in Bolgatanga during the celebration of NHIS annual week.
The celebration was characterized by float through the principal streets of Bolgatanga and public education to encourage people to enroll unto the NHIS to access health services at affordable rates.
The Acting Regional Director noted that about 23.1 million people had subscribed unto to the NHIS, however, only about 11 million were active and attributed the cause largely to stress going to the offices to renew cards and the cost associated with replacing a lost card.
This, he stated, the integration of the Ghana card and the NHIS card would ensure that many people who had lost their cards could still access health services using the Ghana card to achieve the Universal Health Courage and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals particularly goal three, which puts emphasis on quality and equal health care for all by 2030.
The Operations Manager underscored the need for people to enroll unto the scheme, link up their cards with the Ghana card as well as employ the mobile money renewal system by dialing, ?929# to have affordable and easy access to health care.
As part of the week-long celebration, the Regional Operations Manager indicated, the NHIS was doing a promotion on instant activation after registration or renewal with no penalty attached for potential subscribers or defaulters who are able to enroll onto the scheme from Monday, November 9 to 14 midnight.
He said, “The celebration is simply to enhance awareness and let people take advantage of the privileges that come with the week. The main privilege is that within this week, when you enroll, instantly your card is activated, you do not have to wait for a period of one month as usual.
“Under normal circumstance, when your card expires more than three months and you renew it you have to wait for a month for your card to be activated, but within this week if even your card expires about a year ago you can still renew and it will be activated instantly.”
The Acting Regional Director explained that the NHIA was targeting about 4 million people nationwide to be enroll unto the scheme within the week to push the number in the country to 15 million and the Upper East Region was targeting 184,000 people and his outfit has identified major communities to intensify education.