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National Health Insurance Scheme


NHIS to roll out mobile membership renewal and authentication service|12/10/2018

The Deputy Director, Corporate Affairs Directorate of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Oswald Essuah-Mensah has announced that the Scheme is rolling out mobile membership renewal and authentication service across the country which will be launched by President Akufo-Addo on 19th December 2018.

  The Deputy Director, Corporate Affairs Directorate, NHIS, Oswald Essuah-Mensah According to him, the service which is accessible on the short-code *929# has been successfully piloted in Asuogyaman and West Mamprusi Districts where more than 21 thousand, 500 people renewed their membership via mobile during the pilot.

This was announced at a media briefing on NHIS Mobile Membership Renewal and Authentication Project at Wa in the Upper West Region. Prior to the media interaction, the officials of the NHIS paid courtesy calls on political and traditional authorities in Wa to update them on their mission to the Region and to solicit their support.

According to Mr. Essuah-Mensah, the National Health Insurance Scheme has a four-pronged strategy to reform the Scheme going forward. The first strategy is, restructuring the financial model of the scheme whilst the second pertains to moving from manual claim processing to a fully electronic claim management system.

The next level relates to enhancing clinical audits as well as the internal audit machinery of the scheme whilst the 4th pillar rests on seeking prosecutorial powers from the Attorney-Generals Department.

Mr. Essuah-Mensah said five lawyers have been recruited and trained as part of the process for the Scheme to prosecute its own cases and that a fiat has applied for in that direction. To be able to prosecute our own cases, we are waiting for that final fiat to come through and we can begin our prosecutions of internal and external fraud cases or criminal activities he added.

The Director, Membership and Regional Operations, NHIS, Ben Kusi The Director, Membership and Regional Operations, NHIS, Ben Kusi: “We have been able to capture over 18 million residents in Ghana, including foreigners who came through for a visit on our database, but as at the end of 2017, the active membership was at about 10.57 million.

Our goal is to register everybody, working towards being able to achieve universal health coverage, to make sure everybody in Ghana will have access to healthcare without any financial burden.” He pointed out that many people have to struggle to renew their membership every year whilst new people are also trying to come on board, making most of the Schemes offices choked.

Mr. Kusi observed that people wait for hours on end before they get renewed or registered, saying that we feel their pain, and we feel there is something we can do about it, hence the new innovation, which we call the mobile renewal or e-renewal”.  

The MCE for Wa, Issahaku Tahiru Moomin The MCE for Wa, Issahaku Tahiru Moomin commended the authorities of the Scheme for their efforts to roll out of the e-renewal and regretted the attitude of some health facilities that do not live up to expectation.

He therefore called on the TUC and other civil society organizations to put their radars on health facilities at least to make sure that they are forced to do what they are supposed to do.

The MCE pointed out that many a time, health facilities tell you that the drugs are not there because they don't have money, trying to suggest that reimbursements have not been made from the NHIA. The benefits of the nationwide roll-out of the new NHIS mobile renewal to members include reduced waiting time, remote renewals and reminders for membership expiry whilst the advantages to NHIA among others range from low operational costs, higher income to reduction in revenue leakages.

Service providers can also check the validity of cards and then advice clients whose cards are not valid to renew them on the spot for them to receive medical attention. Story by Emmanuel Mensah-Abludo


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