From Michael Boateng, Sunyani
The Sunyani Municipal Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has registered a total of 110, 000 active members, which represent 85% of the total population of 129,000 in the municipality.
Mr. Alfred Agamah, Sunyani Municipal Health Insurance Scheme manager disclosed this at a Staff durbar and a media briefing held at the scheme's premises to commemorate the 10th Anniversary Celebration of the NHIS.
He said the scheme has undergone massive transformation and development since its inception. According to him the Sunyani NHIS started with 6 Staff but currently has 35 permanent staff. There were 7 community registration officers, but currently they have 32 registration officers.
According to Agamah, the scheme has 11 service providers but has increased its service providers to 32, which are worthy of celebration during its 10th anniversary.
He said all these successes were achieved through the support of the various stakeholders, calling for continuous support, particularly from the media, since according to him many people do not have much knowledge in the operations of the NHIS and the media must support.
The Sunyani Scheme manager indicated that NHIS has become a model for meeting social needs especially for the vulnerable, and a tool to achieving the MDGs by helping in reducing maternal and infant mortality in the country.
He continued that the NHIS aspire to achieve universal coverage and how to sustain it. Based on that the scheme has undergone some reforms among them are the inclusion of the mental health, family planning, and the introduction of call center concept to deal with difficulties and challenges of clients.
Mr. Sebastian Alagpulinsa, Senior Regional Monitoring and Evaluation Officer enumerated some of the challenges facing the scheme despite its achievements.
The senior regional monitoring and evaluation officer stated that most of the staff were not having any background about the NHIS, so that poses a capacity challenge to the scheme, and also the ICT system consistently give the scheme problems in terms of processing of the registration of clients and issuance of membership cards.
However, he assured that the NHIA was putting things in place to resolve those challenges to ease the difficulties in the operations of the scheme.