The Sunyani Municipal office of the National Health Insurance Scheme has been engaging the media and some selected members of the scheme to further deepen awareness about how the NHIS operates, especially on how to derive optimum benefits from the scheme devoid of undue stress.
This follows several complaints from the general public about their rights and responsibilities as members of the scheme.
The National Health Insurance Scheme is arguably the biggest social intervention in the country’s health sector since independence and can boast of a membership of about 20 million with a little over ten million being active members.
It was established under the National Health Insurance Act 2003, Act 650, as a body corporate, with perpetual succession, an Official Seal, that may sue and be sued in its own name. As a body corporate, the Authority in the performance of its functions may acquire and hold movable and immovable property and may enter into a contract or any other transaction.
A new law, Act 852 has replaced ACT 650 in October 2012 to consolidate the NHIS, remove administrative bottlenecks, introduce transparency, reduce opportunites for corruption and gaming of the system, and make for more effective governance of the schemes.
The NHIS was introduced by government to improve access to quality health care for all residents in Ghana and those on a visit to the country.
As at 18th September this year, the Sunyani Municipal directorate of the NHIS could boast of 108,558 active members but the hopes to capture 127,123 residents as members of the scheme by the end of this year.
It is therefore embarking on a vigorous stakeholder engagement in the municipality to shore up its active members.
The Sunyani Municipal Manager of the Scheme, Maxwell Mahama, expressed grave concern about the low level of education on the NHIS adding that a lot of people are unaware of the numerous benefits they stand to gain under the scheme.
According to him, the scheme covers about 95 percent of the diseases that usually affect people in the country.
Besides, the NHIS covers all primary health care services. Mr Maxwell Mahama advised NHIS members to visit the nearest health facility when they are sick and avoid jumping to referral facilities to seek primary health care services.