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Health News of Monday, 17 December 2018


E-renewal of NHIS cards to be launched December 19

The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) would by 19 December 2018 fully implement an electronic renewal system across the country where NHIS card holders can renew their cards via mobile by paying from their mobile money wallet.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is expected to officially launch the project with a dedicated short code available on MTN, Vodafone, and Airtel-Tigo networks.

The broad goal of the e-renewal project is to achieve a Universal Health Coverage (UHC) through an improved access to affordable quality healthcare for all residents in the country and enhance financial sustainability, the Head of Corporate Affairs at the National Health Insurance Authority, Mr. Oswald Essuah-Mensah told the media after a stakeholder engagement in Tamale.

Mr Essuah-Mensah believes the innovation will help the NHIS to increase its membership and also lessen the stress clients have to go through in long queues to renew their cards.

According to him, about 18 million inactive members are captured on the database of the scheme whereas, at the close of 2017, the active membership base was about 10.58 million.

“This tells us that there is a disconnect between the number of people who have actually been on the scheme before and what we currently find as active members today...some members may have fallen on the way. Certainly, too, one of the challenges that we do know is that, when it comes to renewal for our members, this in itself is a nightmare."

"A nightmare because currently, we have 165 district offices which process 60, 000 individual renewal and registrations every year, now this arrangement means that all the 10.85 million would have to walk through the corridors of NHIA to register or renew,” he stated.

Mr Essuah-Mensah lamented that this situation is creating administrative bottlenecks for the operations of the NHIS across the country. He said to ensure the country moves in the direction of achieving universal health coverage means that “we have to find ways and means to move our active membership which covers 37 per cent of the population to higher values.”

The e-renewal has been piloted in the West Mamprusi and Asuogyaman districts of the Northern and Brong Ahafo Regions.