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01.01.2005 Regional News

Okaikoi area workers to start reaping benefit of NHIS

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Accra, Jan. 1, GNA - Contributors to the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) scheme in the formal sector living in the Okaikoi Sub-Metropolitan District in the Greater Accra Region would from January visit some designated hospitals free of charge under the health insurance scheme.

The Government is replacing the "cash and carry" system, which involves paying for health care at the point of service delivery, with the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

Mr Evans Adjei, Public Relations Officer of the NHIS at the Okaikoi Sub-Metropolitan District Council, told the GNA that deductions from the SSNIT contributions of workers in the formal sector living in the area began a year ago.

He said this qualified them to start benefiting from the scheme early next year.

According to him, those in the informal sector were still being registered and were yet to pay their contributions. As such they would start benefiting from the scheme from June this year. Formal sector workers, he explained, could start reaping the benefits of the NHIS once they showed up at the Sub-Metro offices to register.

Mr Adjei said some 13,000 people out of 120,000 people registered in the area had so far registered to join the scheme since November 2004.

He said more people would be registered during this holiday season because agents conducting the registration exercise were expected to meet more people at home.

According to him, the 13,000 people registered so far, was impressive since 2,000 is the threshold figure required to start a health insurance scheme in a District. Mr Adjei said the issuing of identity cards, which would qualify subscribers to receive free medical care at the health facility, would begin from next week.

He said a list of designated health facilities was yet to be released but the Kaneshie Polyclinic and the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital were some of the likely institutions to attend to patients in the Sub-Metro area.

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