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11.06.2007 General News

Two Million Can’t Benefit From NHIS

Two million out of eight million Ghanaians registered under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) have not benefited from the scheme due to delays in issuing them with identity (ID) cards.

Consequently, the National Health Insurance Council (NHIC) has instructed scheme managers throughout the country to issue the ID cards on time to do away with the difficulties beneficiaries went through in accessing the scheme.

Presently, six million people have received their ID cards and are able to access the scheme.

The Director of Operations of the NHIC, Mr O.B. Acheampong, made this known at the mass registration of more than 500 people with physical challenges in Accra.

Mr Acheampong said the delay in the issuance of the cards had remained a challenge in the implementation of the scheme. The exercise was organised by the Disabled Christian Fellowship, a non-governmental organisation.

Mr Acheampong also appealed to all hospitals which had been accredited to the scheme to ensure that their facilities were accessible to the physically challenged.

He said, often times challenged people , particularly the deaf, faced problems in communicating with health officials at the health centres due to the absence of interpreters.

According to him, the lack of such friendly facilities for physically-challenged persons at the hospitals, defeated the purpose of the NHIS.

Mr Acheampong stated that there were three other programmes under the NHIS, namely district mutual, private mutual and private commercial.

The district mutual health insurance programme, he said, was available in all the districts, while the private mutual and private commercial were those made available to private companies and other workers.

He explained that with the registration and the provision of the ID cards, one was able to access the scheme all over the country.

He said the minimum registration fee charged was ¢75,000, with the maximum fee being ¢480,000.

The Executive Director of the Disabled Christian Fellowship International, Mr Francis Adjetey Sowah, encouraged all to access the NHIS so that they would be able to receive affordable healthcare services.

He also called on the government to formulate policies which would allow for periodic screening of children in order to detect, prevent and manage disability.