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2nd NHIS Week Celebration commences Monday November 15|11/12/2021

The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) Week celebration second edition themed, (NHIS: Using the Ghana for Expanding Access to Health Care,” will commence on 15th-21st November, 2021. 

 

The First Lady, H.E. Rebecca Akufo-Addo is to officially launch it on 15th November at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC). The newly installed King of the Ga State, Nii Tackie Teiko Tsuru II will Chair the august occasion.

 

Maiden edition

November 2020 marked a significant milestone on the calendar of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), in which the maiden edition of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) Week was celebrated. 

 

This was from 9th to 15th November under the theme, “NHIS-Leaving no one behind.” The Objective was to increase the Scheme’s active membership to constructively tackle the health needs of the general Ghanaian public.

 

 In that regard, the Scheme's Regional and District management teams stepped up their efforts in registering staff of corporate institutions, community residents, religious bodies, children under the School Feeding Program, beneficiaries of the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty Eradication Program (LEAP) and Prison inmates among others. 

 

Major Innovations 

 

The Authority rolled out home-based innovations such as NHIS and Ghana Cards linkage, Mobile Renewal Service, Digital Counter to give real time updates of Active Membership, Waiver of the 1(one) month waiting period and Activation of members serving the waiting period. 

 

Key Activities

 

 The major activities included the NHIS and Ghana Cards linkage, a Documentary on the NHIS Journey, Private Health Insurance Schemes (PHIS) Forum, Floats, Roadshows, Media engagements by Board Members, Executive Management, Claims Processing Centres, Regional and District management teams. These hyped awareness creation, Enrollment of new members, Membership renewals, Monitoring and Support Visits.

 

Official Launch

Vice President of the Republic of Ghana, Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia Vice President, Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia officially launched the celebration and announced the NHIS and Ghana cards linkage as well as government’s Amnesty of one-month penalty for defaulters and new members.

 

 He said the celebration marked the turning point of the national digitization agenda. “This marks the beginning of a new dawn in the National Health Insurance system.

 

 

This innovation reaffirms the NPP’s Government’s commitment in our digital journey towards creating the needed ICT infrastructure comparable to any in the developed world.” “Our rapid adoption of digital technologies has been driven not only by the imperatives of change in the global economy but also by the need to tackle our own local development challenges.” “Our overarching objectives in this digitization agenda are to improve both economic and public sector governance, improve transparency and accountability, improve domestic revenue mobilization, curb corruption and increase access to public services,” he emphasized. 

 

 

The Vice President added that, “What is key for us today is the leveraging of the Ghana Card to transform our health system. This is a game-changer. All you need is the Ghana Card which has embedded in it all your important personal data.

 

 

Linked to the Digital Address system and the Birth and Death Registry, we would have built the most comprehensive database of citizens as far as our health demographics are concerned.” With the agenda of Ghana Card being the sole form of identification and access to social services, NHIA has taken the steps in making that happen by linking NHIS membership to the Ghana card. This fits very well into the inclusiveness agenda of the government to leave no one behind and the NHIS is on this path in its quest to provide affordable healthcare to all residents of Ghana,” he highlighted.

 

PHIS Forum @ Accra International Conference Centre (AICC)

NHIA Chief Executive, Dr. Lydia Dsane Selby and a former Board Chair Prof. Yaw Adu Gyamfi (1ST and 3rd from the left respectively) on the high table As part of activities for the weeklong celebration, a Forum on Private Health Insurance Schemes (PHIS) was held to interact with industry players in that sector. 

 

It was under the theme, “Growing the private health insurance industry for the future.” This brought together active stakeholders who engaged in ground-breaking discussions to understand the growing need for private health insurance and to provide solutions to meet healthcare needs of all residents in Ghana. The Forum heightened the NHIA’s oversight and regulatory responsibilities. 

 

The NHIA’s Chief Executive, Dr Lydia Dsane-Selby commended the private health insurers for playing pivotal role in Ghana’s health sector and underscored the need for them to increase their total membership percentage.

 

 Media hype

 

 Extensive media campaigns were activated to build up the Scheme’s active membership drive. In addition to the mainstream media publications, daily posts on all the NHIA’s social media handles increased to not less than five posts per day during the period. Facebook: 52,832 people were reached during the period with following on Facebook increasing from 74,400 to 81,420. The Twitter and Instagram handles recorded increases. Before the NHIS Week celebration, Twitter following was at 1,891 and it increased to 2,436 while IAAnstagram increased from 178 to 224.

 

Achievement(s)

 

 In the end, the additional number of active members stood at 748,804 (i.e., 446,791+ 302,013). As part of strategies mapped out to boost membership coverage, in line with the country’s mission to attain Universal Health Coverage (UHC), the NHIS Week celebration is now permanently featured on the annual calendar of the NHIA. 

 

As it continues to impact people’s health seeking behaviour, the NHIS is on course to deliver its ambitious target of providing access to quality and affordable health care services, to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in 2030. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic challenges, The NHIS Weeklong Celebration was very successful and well patronized by the relevant stakeholders, and it is expected that the 2021 edition will be mammoth. 

 

 

By: Abdul Karim Naatogmah


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