The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in the Upper West Region achieved 79 per cent of its 2020 client coverage target as at September 30, 2020.
The Scheme, at the end of the third quarter had enrolled and retained a total of 447,493 members as against a target of 564,511 clients in the region.
This figure indicates that about 1,634 persons either registered or renewed their cards daily in the first nine months of the year.
According to the Acting Regional Director for the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Mr Samuel Lobber, the achievement was as a result of the mobile renewal strategy that was added to the services of the Authority, which allowed clients to renew their cards from the comfort of their homes.
He based his assertion on the fact that 60 per cent of the registrants renewed their cards using the *929* short code that was introduced by the NHIA two years ago and said the numbers would not have been feasible if they were relying solely on the manual registration.
Mr Lobber stated this during a news conference at Wa on Tuesday after staff of the Authority took to the street to create awareness about the *929* short code as well as other innovations the NHIA had introduced into its operations, as part of activities to mark the NHIS week celebration at Wa.
He noted that for the Upper West Region, the mobile renewal was very essential to residents as a chunk of their clients resided in areas that were quite remote from the respective district capitals and accessing their offices to renew their cards was quite challenging.
The Ag.Director expressed that the figure for the number of registrants this year depicted improvement in the service delivery of the Authority in terms of widening access and ensuring effective customer satisfaction.
He stated that accessing health care was the primary right of every individual and was, therefore, incumbent on stakeholders such as the NHIA to collaborate with health care providers to ensure the enhancement of the universal health coverage.
“This we can confidently claim to have achieved with the renewal of the code which has reduced congestion at our district offices as people prefer to use the short code to renew their cards in the comfort of their homes,” he said.
Mr Lobber reiterated that with the integration of the NHIS card into the Ghana Card, access to health care would be easier as persons who misplaced their NHIS cards could access healthcare with their Ghana Card if they had taken steps to merge the two using the *929* code.
He called on residents who were yet to enroll under the scheme to take advantage of the weeklong celebration and enroll to have their cards activated immediately and also urged clients to ensure they renewed their cards before the expiry dates to ensure continuity of service.
As part of the week celebration, the Authority will visit some communities in the region and assist them to join the scheme as well.
FROM LYDIA DARLINGTON FORDJOUR, WA