The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in the Upper West Region has at the end of December 2021 rolled a total of 718,412 members onto the scheme in the region.
The figure represents 80 per cent of the regional population of 901,502 and has placed the region second after Bono Region in terms of attainment of universal health coverage.
The Regional Manager of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA),Mr Samuel Lekamwe Lobber, who made this known at an end of year performance review meeting here on Friday said the figure represented a four per cent increase over 2020’s coverage performance.
The meeting which was on the theme “Sustaining our gains for universal health coverage- A collective responsibility” brought together former and current staff of the authority to consolidate gains, share ideas and experiences and also chart a way forward for more wins in future.
The director enumerated that 249,287 of the registered clients patronised the mobile renewal platform for registration and renewal activities.
He stated that five out of 11 municipal and district assemblies exceeded their annual targets and commended them for the feat.
He explained that the scheme was targeting to register every resident of the region so that people are able to access health care services at any point in time without worrying about money.
“I am also glad to announce that we have covered a greater part of people considered indigent and require free social services; these people are rolledonto the scheme and issued cards to access healthcare without paying for the service,” Mr Lobber stated.
“If we give options on the mobile renewal platform for indigents to patronise our services, there are people who will not fall into that category but will still register for the free service and it will be very difficult to identify the real beneficiaries and so for the indigents, we either ask them to come to the office or we register them during our community outreach programmes,” he elaborated.
He lamented however that due to the magnitude of indigent beneficiaries, the authority in the region was unable to reach its revenue target which was a double of the amount they mobilised in 2020.
“The region had a target of GH₵8,174,421.52 but were able to mobilise GH₵4,516,333.03 representing 55 per cent of the actual target,” he said.
He assured however that although the Authority was faced with some operational challenges such as poor network in some communities which affected mobile renewal and poor road network, the NHIA was prepared to attain universal coverage to ensure that people were able to access prompt health care without having to bother about cost.
The chairman for the occasion, MrIssahakuNuhuPutiaha, a former staff of the Authority, patted the staff on the shoulder for what he described as sterling performance and encouraged them to weather the challenges and provide the best service for the region.
FROM LYDIA DARLINGTON FORDOUR, WA