A total number of 448,191 clients were registered by the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) in the Upper West Region in 2018.
The figure represents 54 per cent of the estimated total population of the region which stood at 829,984.
The Regional Director of the NHIA, Mr Abass Suleymana who stated this on the sidelines of the authority’s mid-year review meeting on Thursday, said the figure was expected to rise between 59 and 60 per cent by the close of the year.
He explained that the expected increase in the number of clients would emanate from the efficient utilisation of the mobile receipt and digital renewal systems introduced by the NHIA in December last year.
“These two systems have drastically reduced the long queues that were experienced at the district and regional offices such that people are able to renew their cards in the comfort of their homes,” he explained.
He said the long queues were a major disincentive to the patronage of the cards by some residents.
“But now that the queues have been eliminated more and more people have started joining the scheme,” he said and added that the aim of the scheme was to attain universal health coverage irrespective of the status and location of the individual.
Mr Suleymana also attributed the increase in the clientele base to the timely disbursement of funds by government for the payment of claims to accredited facilities.
He explained that, “although it is not 100 per cent timely, in comparing now to previous years, we can conclude that it is a lot better now, so facilities are able to discharge their services efficiently”.
The Regional Director said that the authority was running market and community-based campaigns in order to garner the interest of potential clients.
He stated that although the authority was interested in the growth of health centres that sought its services, it was also particular about the environment within which they provide services to their clients.
The NHIA, he noted therefore conducts clinical audits and quality assurance tests to inspect the facilities and their human resources before giving them the credential to operate under the authority.
“Although we are constrained when it comes to human resources, our current monitoring staff are very effective and they even conduct post credential monitoring to ensure that the health centres were still maintained in quality standards,” he said.
Mr Suleymana urged the public to accept the NHIS as it was intended to promote their health and well-being.
FROM LYDIA DARLINGTON FORDJOUR, WA