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Health News of Sunday, 22 November 2020

Source: Eric Ofori, Contributor

NHIA and NIA integration: NHIA boss commends PharmAccess

Dr. Lydia Dsane-Selby, CEO, NHIA Dr. Lydia Dsane-Selby, CEO, NHIA

Dr. Lydia Dsane-Selby, Chief Executive officer of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), has commended PharmAccess, for its role in ensuring successful integration of NIA and NHIA data.

According to her, PharmAccess Group a non-profit organization dedicated to improving access to quality healthcare in Africa helped with technical expertise and some funding towards the realization of the integration.

Dr. Lydia Dsane-Selby noted that PharmAccess helped without hesitation. "When we reached out to them, they helped us with the technical expertise and some of the cost to have that dedicated line where NIA data critical to the operations comes to us and then people can do the linkage through their mobile phones and then use the Ghana card to go and access care."

"So, I would like to thank PharmAccess for that assistance," she said.

The NHIA and NHIS data synchronization is expected to enable the use of the NIA card popularly referred to as the Ghana Card to access National Health Insurance Scheme services and increase its coverage.

Dr. Lydia Dsane-Selby says this NHIA and PharmAccess collaboration is a testament of what partnerships between private and public agencies can do to deliver the needs of the populace.

The NHIA also worked with PharmAccess to perform analytics on the membership and some proportion of claims data, which has provided useful insights in the operations of the Authority.

NHIS has improved health-seeking behaviour of a significant proportion of the population evidenced by a substantial increase in membership and utilization of health care services and has been recognized globally as a promising model for social protection in health. The scheme currently has over 12 million Ghanaians as active subscribers. Key to increasing access to insurance and making it easy for Ghanaians to access care is the integration of NHIA with NIA.

Country Director for PharmAccess Ghana Dr. Maxwell Antwi stated that his outfit is "dedicated to improving access to better healthcare in Africa through digital technology and mobile-phone-based innovations."

For Dr. Antwi, PharmAccess will continue to lend itself to supporting public and private agencies to ensure the use of digital technology and innovations as enablers for ensuring efficiency in health financing and health service delivery for Ghanaians. This noble objective underpins the reason PharmAccess supported the National Health Insurance Authority on data integration.

The Chief Executive Officer of the NHIA also disclosed that eventually the National Health Insurance cards will be phased out so that the Ghana card becomes the only card to use to access health insurance. "Eventually we need to do away with our card so that the Ghana card is the definitive identity card for all people in Ghana, whether you're a citizen or non-citizen", she stressed.

The National Health Insurance Authority announced few weeks ago the policy intervention that will allow Ghanaians to use their Ghana card to access Healthcare under the National Health Insurance Scheme. According to the Authority, this is one of the ways the NHIA is employing to attain Universal Health coverage by 2030.

The scheme also hopes that this integration will keep track of all members on the scheme and prevent the financial leakages. This way, there will be judicious use of taxpayers’ money for better Healthcare.

How the NHIA and the NIA integration works

To link your National Health Insurance card and Ghana Card, follow these simple steps;

1. Dial *929#

2. Select Option 4 (Link Ghana Card)

3. Enter your 13 digit Ghana card identification number (GHA*****)

4. Enter your 8 digit NHIS number

5. Wait for confirmation

And your Ghana card has been successfully linked to your National Health Insurance card.