By Joyce Danso, GNA
Accra, Dec. 16, GNA – The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) on Wednesday said as part of Ghana’s bid to provide Universal Health Coverage (UHC), online registration of new National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) members has started to leave no one behind.
The measure, the NHIA said formed part of the efforts put in place to increase membership drive as well as implement policies and reforms that would provide affordable and accessible health care services for all.
Currently, the NHIA membership stands at 13 million; Dr. Lydia Dsane-Selby, Chief Executive Officer, NHIA said this in a speech read on her behalf at a Colloquium held in Accra in commemoration of World UHC Coverage Day.
The Colloquium held by Alliance for Reproductive Health Rights (ARHR) was dubbed: “Achieving UHC to Protect Everyone in Ghana: What is left to be Done”.
The programme brought together Civil Society Organizations, Officials from Ghana Health Service, the Ministry of Health, and NHIA.
Dr. Dsane-Selby recounted the innovations introduced by NHIA, which included mobile renewal registration and mass mobilization campaign which also saw the linkage of the NHIS card with the Ghana Card.
According to her, more strategies for increasing membership were underway and that the NHIS had a comprehensive benefits package that covered curative services for over 90 per cent of diverse conditions in the country.
“To augment this, the NHIA has introduced medication for the treatment of breast cancer on its medicine list. This move seeks to reduce the disease burden of breast cancer and improve the reproductive health of NHIS members.
“An actuarial model has been designed to access the feasibility of inclusion of mental health services onto the NHIS benefit package”.
The NHIA CEO said the authority was moving towards reimbursement of preventive health care and had introduced family planning services to the NHIS benefit package in selected districts adding that; “plans are underway for a national scale-up of these services.”
She said, the NHIA had enabled both public and private health care providers and faith-based sectors to be featured in the authority’s service providers lists.
Dr Dsane-Selby said the NHIA had also adopted value for money means of cost containment strategies to prevent fraud, waste, and abuse of health providers.
Mr. Selorme Kofi Azumah, a Public Health Practitioner noted that the issue of achieving UHC required the need to holistically delve into four thematic areas.
The areas included the provision of financial protection; provision of investment in the country’s health care; equal distribution of human resources and infrastructure; and focus on vigorous health prevention and education on healthy life styles.
Nii Ankonu Annorbah-Sarpie, Director of Programmes, ARHR said the colloquium seeks to bring together stakeholders to reflect on Ghana’s actions and work towards UHC for its people and learns from different perspectives of stakeholders on how to tackle outstanding gaps slowing progress in the implementation of the country’s commitment.