Mr Raymond Avinu, Deputy Director, Membership and Regional Operations at the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) is advocating that by 2030 every single Ghanaian should have a National Health Insurance card.
Mr Ayivu explained that the NHIA aims to ensure equity in health care coverage, access by the poor to healthcare services and protection of the poor and vulnerable against inadequate finances.
He said as at October 2019, there were 12,070,974 active membership, constitutingabout 40% of the country’s population
He was speaking at the National stakeholder Dialogue on identification and development of poor and vulnerable citizens onto NHIS: The progress, the challenges and the way forward which is part of the activities of the people for health project organised by SEND Ghana.
Mr Avinu noted that, the treatment under NHIS is totally free which includes medications and therefore advised people to be vigilante when asked to make payment.
He added that one of the major challenges of the scheme is lack of network connectivity in deprived communities.
He emphasised the need to intensify collaboration with the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to resolve all bottle necks and in effect, increase enrolment of all vulnerable people.
According to Mr Siapha Kamara, Chief of Party, People for Health project a collaborative approach involving all stakeholders had to be adopted, towards ensuring that they have access to the scheme, especially for the vulnerable without impediment.
He said the People for Health Project for instance collaborated with the National Health Insurance Scheme in order to educate the vulnerable about NHIS, its opportunities.
‘’we would as well work with the department of Social Welfare to help identify the poor and vulnerable to make sure they exercise their rights to free healthcare,’’ he added.
People for Health is a USAID-funded project which will be implemented by a consortium led by SEND GHANA and including Penplusbytes and the Ghana News Agency (GNA). The three institutions will be offering a comprehensive and innovative approach to ensure that the project delivers its intended results. The project will be implemented in 20 selected districts from Northern, Eastern, Volta, and Greater Accra regions in Ghana.
Their goal is to strengthen organizational and institutional capacities of both government and civil society for mutual accountability in family planning (FP), maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH), nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), HIV/AIDS services for key populations, malaria prevention and treatment, and related interventions in order to improve the management and performance of health systems that support these services. Their technical approach for achieving this goal is based on Enhanced Social Accountability which blends SEND’s tried and tested Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation (PM&E) framework with consortium members’ methodologies.
These are innovative technological approaches to increase citizens’ voices to demand for and champion improved access to and quality of health services. The project will work through civil society organizations (CSO) and government partnerships at community, district, regional and national levels. The project objectives are to: increase the capacity of CSOs to effectively advocate on key issues in the health and HIV sectors; mobilize and empower communities to demand better and equitable service delivery; and strengthen CSO demand for accountability, compliance and equitable service delivery.
By: Latifa Carlos