Mr Abass Sulleymana, Upper West Regional Director, National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), has advised the public to get the NHIA Membership Handbook to clear misconceptions related to medicines covered by the scheme.
He said with the Handbook which contained the list of medicines covered by the scheme, one would not be misled by another to believe that “the only medicine covered by the scheme is paracetamol” as being trumpeted by some mischievous or ill-informed persons.
Mr Sulleymana gave the advice during a stakeholder’s sensitization meeting organised by the Wa Municipal Health Insurance Scheme on the NHIA mobile membership renewal programme introduced in December 2018.
The meeting which brought together stakeholders including Assembly members, mobile money vendors, media personnel and other collaborators on the NHIA membership renewal application system was meant to enlighten them on the process, so they could lead the crusade for the success of the programme.
He particularly encouraged Assembly members to educate their community people on the mobile membership renewal so that they can avoid the challenges associated with previous membership renewal process.
Mr Sulleymana hinted of staff deployment to the communities to help in educating and sensitizing the people towards increased enrolment.
The NHIA Upper West Regional Director noted that the media have a pivotal role to play to ensure the successful implementation of the mobile renewal programme and appealed to journalists to help use their platforms to promote the initiative.
Mr Sulleymana said to achieve universal health coverage in the Region and the country at large, all stakeholders must actively play their roles without relenting on their efforts.
Madam Celine Saayang, Wa Municipal Health Insurance Scheme Manager, said it was inspiring to note that, NHIS continued to enjoy high patronage among the poor for whom it remained a healthcare support mechanism and a highly valued and cherished institution.
Madam Saayang noted that the Mobile Renewal Service was the NHIA’s flagship programme today, adding that the project sought to digitize the renewal process to allow members the option of remotely renewing membership with the help of any simple mobile device.
She appealed to the mobile vendors to assist their brothers and sisters who might not have phones to enable them also renew their membership and become beneficiaries of the very laudable initiative.
She hinted that the authentication solutions developed were also compatible with the GHANA-CARD, thereby making the process dynamic and relevant for the future.
The Wa Municipal NHIS Manager indicated that the mobile renewal service could be accessed from all networks, adding that accessing the service did not require data or airtime.
“Just dial the short code *929# and follow the prompts to the end to get your membership renewed,” she said.
Madam Saayang highlighted reduction in waiting times at the District Offices, reduction in operational costs linked to membership renewals, and increase in membership awareness on the NHIS benefits package as some of the successes chalked since the introduction of the mobile renewal initiative in December last year.