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10.01.2005 General News

Workers to get NHIS ID cards soon

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Wa, Jan. 10, GNA - Formal Sector workers who are under the Wa District- Wide Mutual Health Insurance Scheme would soon be issued with identity cards to start accessing health care services from health facilities in the area.

Mr. John Zury, Manager of the scheme in-charge of the Wa Municipal, Wa East and Wa West Districts said those workers who had been contributing to the scheme through deductions from the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) for the past nine months, had qualified to start benefiting from it.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency at Wa on Monday, he said SSNIT had already supplied the list of contributors to his outfit and they were only waiting for funds to prepare the identity cards of the workers and their children.

He explained that in cases where one of the spouses was not contributing to SSNIT, that person had to pay 72,000 cedis to enable their children qualify as beneficiaries of the scheme.

Mr. Zury, however, said if it was established that the contributor was a single parent, the children were entitled to benefit from the scheme.

He complained about the low response to the patronage of the scheme from the informal sector especially in the rural areas and blamed the situation on inadequate education.

He therefore appealed for the provision of adequate funds and logistics to enable them mount an effective campaign to get all would-be beneficiaries properly sensitised on its benefits.

According to him, 56 collectors had been trained to collect premiums and sensitise the people in the three districts, but the sensitisation was being hampered by lack of logistics.

"We were employed last October and it will take time and adequate resources for us to get to all communities to get the people to embrace the programme."

Mr. Zury could not immediately give the number of informal sector workers who had so far registered but said reports from the field officers or collectors indicated that the figures were not encouraging in the various communities assigned to them.

According to him, they had been mandated to make the scheme operational in the area by the first day of March, this year and they were sure of getting the minimum of 2,000 people needed to get the scheme started before the stipulated date.

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