The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) has begun a process to scrap the current health insurance card and replace it with the Ghana Card for the same original purpose.
Piloting of the change-over will begin in October 2020 in smaller units for people above 14 years who have the Ghana Card, before it will be rolled out on a larger scale across the country.
The piloting will be done gradually at selected sites, and children 14 years and below will continue to use their National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) cards to access health care throughout the period until access to the Ghana Card is extended to them.
The NHIS card is used to access healthcare at accredited facilities for conditions covered under the scheme.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the authority, Dr. Lydia Baaba Dsane-Selby, announced this at Morso in the Asante Akim South District in the Ashanti Region last Sunday during a registration exercise for residents onto the NHIS, courtesy a GH¢10,000 sponsorship by the Adontenhene of the community, Nana Otuo Acheampong.
The NHIA also renewed expired cards for residents, as Nana Acheampong’s gesture stretched to cover more than 500 residents of Morso.
Dr. Dsane-Selby urged Ghanaians to take a keen interest in the usage of the Ghana Card, saying it had come to stay and nothing could impair its sustainability.
She said although the NHIS had gone through some serious challenges, the storm had subsided through prudent management which, she said, had restored the scheme to its current state.
She lamented the behaviour of some health facilities which took money from clients before providing them with the required services, even though the patients reported with health conditions covered under the NHIS.
She said, for instance, that although the treatment for snake bite was captured under the scheme, there had been many reports from across the country that people were charged for being treated for snake bite.
She said the NHIS was among the best social intervention policies ever introduced in the country and, therefore, urged card holders to challenge healthcare providers who told them that their health conditions did not qualify for NHIS support.
Nana Acheampong, who is the Board Chairman of the Health Facilities Regulatory Agency (HeFRA), said his aim was to provide free health insurance registration and renewal for his people to ensure that they had the opportunity to access health care, whether they had money or not.
He said supporting the welfare of the people in the area of health care was a civic responsibility to complement the government’s effort at providing health care for the people, irrespective of their financial or social statuses.
He pledged his continuous support for the people in the community to improve their standard of living.
The CEO of HeFRA, Dr. Philip Bannor, stressed the need for all to contribute towards the attainment of quality healthcare delivery in the country.
He called on stakeholders in the health sector to continue to do their best to ensure that Ghana’s healthcare delivery was improved for the betterment of health care.
He expressed the hope that with good healthcare delivery, many more people would be healthy enough to support the development of the nation.
The Manwerehene of Morso, Nana Kyei Baffour, lauded Nana Acheampong, who is also a banking consultant, for his unflinching support towards the development of the community and its people.