NHIS gains ground in Upper West Region

The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has an active membership of 350,724 persons in the Upper West Region, representing 50.9 per cent of the total population of the region as at September 2011.

About 90 per cent of the population has registered with the Scheme with 24,781 pregnant women doing so under the free maternal healthcare policy.

Mr John Bosco Zury, Regional Manager of the Scheme made this known at a day’s stakeholders’ forum of actors in the NHIS the Region in Wa.

The forum was to offer the opportunity for the actors to share experiences and challenges from different backgrounds and strategise for the way forward.

Mr Zury said 14,199 pregnant women; representing 4.05 per cent were among the active members while total identification cards (ID) cards production within the period under review stood at 101,030.

He said from 2009 to September 2011, a total reimbursement to service providers stood at GHȼ21,686,217.97.

Mr Zury mentioned wrong application of tariffs, submission of claims from non-accredited facilities through accredited providers and inflation of quantities of medicines as well as substitution of medicines as some of the challenges that are impeding the smooth operations of the Scheme.

He said delay in the renewal of membership by subscribers, negative perception of subscribers about the quality of care at health provision sites and poor patient record keeping by providers are also affecting the scheme’s operations.

Mr Zury called for training on claims processing for providers, procurement of motorbikes for staff and engagement of qualified personnel to help promote quality services.

Alhaji Issahaque Salia, Regional Minister appealed to managers of the Scheme to be proactive to deal with concerns about corruption threatening the viability and sustainability of the programme.

He said government  has commenced the construction of 10 regional offices of the NHIA as a  commitment to ensure and facilitate the work of the Scheme.

Alhaji Salia called on the Scheme to encourage more people to enroll on the programme  by eliminating the bottlenecks surrounding the issuance of ID cards and poor client relations.

Source: GNA

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