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National Health Insurance issues 979,000 biometric cards in Eastern Region

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IDOver 979,000 clients of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in the Eastern Region had been issued with the new biometric cards.

This had been achieved despite the challenge of huge crowds at all the registration centers as at the end of January 2015.

Stringent measures were put in place by management, including running of shift system in all the 17 administrative offices in the region, where specific dates are assigned to clients for card production with priority to the aged, pregnant women and children.

These measures according to the Regional Director of the NHIS, Alhaji Seidu Samson, at a media briefing, was to meet clients demands and enroll more unto the scheme.

The Regional Director said the old cards, which have not expired are still valid and could be used to access healthcare at every accredited facility and appealed to the public not to abandon the old cards to get the biometric cards.

He disclosed that, the 3G network system used in the biometric registration exercise is not strong in the region due to the mountainous nature, otherwise the scheme would have embarked on community base registration and outreach programs to make the registration onto the NHIS easy and more accessible.

The Regional Director however, noted that, to control the crowd and ensure efficient service, the NHIS regional directorate had appealed to all the district assemblies to provide them temporal spaces to decentralize the registration and all other demands of NHIS clients in the region.

He said, contrary to reports that the NHIS was dying, utilization or the number of times NHIS clients visited the accredited facilities in the region last year, stood at 4,940,453, adding that, it indicated the high confidence clients had in the system.

Alhaji Samson said, so far, the regions’ active membership stood at 1,003,201, representing 38.10 per cent of the regional population of 2,633,154, whiles within the same period, a total claim of Gh¢40,237,858.54 was paid and assured that, all arrears owed the service providers in the region would be paid by March this year.

He called on the media to support the NHIS to educate the public on services provided and the importance of the scheme to build the public’s confidence and ownership of the scheme for their own benefit.

Source: GNA

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