13.05.2005 Regional News

TMA registers 10,429 people this year for NHIS

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Tema, May 13, GNA - The Tema Municipal Authority have this year registered 10,429 people for the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), with 8,124 in the formal sector and 2,305 in the informal sector.

An amount of 166.3 million cedis has so far been collected as premium from the informal sector, which includes 1,500 people making full payment and 705 under part payment.

Twenty thousand registered under the scheme, between March 2004, when it started registration and January 6, this year.

The Municipal Scheme Manager, Mrs Alice Obeng in an interview on Thursday, said the Assembly is yet to receive money from the Health Insurance Council for those in the formal sector, pensioners, indigent, under age as well as those above 70 years.

Premium cards will be given to fully paid members by the end of the week so that by end of June, this year, they will start enjoying the benefit of the package from the public health centres in the Municipality.

According to her, all the four health insurance centres in the Municipality, that is, the TMA sub-offices at New Town, Adenta, Batsonaa, and the Ashaiman Zonal Council Office are all in operation and will soon add about five more centres including the General Hospital, Narh Bita, Polyclinic and some two Pharmacy shops to make sure they are accessible to residents.

The Municipality, she said, has been demarcated into 85 health insurance communities, adding that, the scheme currently has 61 collectors on the field, whiles 40 officers have been trained to move to the companies to educate workers on how to complete the forms. The scheme is anticipating 150,000 registration from the formal sector and 6,000 from the informal sector.

The Scheme Manager expressed regrets that in spite of the much education on the scheme and efforts put in place to get people registered, residents participation level is still low and explained that most residents were doubtful of whether the scheme could stand the test of time, whiles others have read politics into it.

She however, advised on the need for residents in the municipality to embrace the scheme, since that is the only way they could have access to quality health care.

Inadequate logistics, funding, office accommodation, as well as means of transport were mentioned as some of the constraints of the scheme in the municipality.

She expressed the hope that all stakeholders and individuals would also give in their maximum support, co-operation and commitment for the smooth running of the scheme.

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