The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) has given a waiver on waiting periods for persons who renew or register for their National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) card within this week.
This means that beneficiaries would automatically have their cards activated and could instantaneously use their NHIS card to access health services at their chosen credentialed facilities across the country.
The waiver was part of the strategy adopted by the NHIA to boost its membership drive as it embarked on the NHIS week celebration which was launched on Monday under the theme “NHIS: Using the Ghana Card for Expanding Access to Health Care.”
Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, the First Lady, announced the intervention when she launched the celebration in Accra.
She emphasised the need to enrol more people into the scheme with the mindset of improving health care delivery on a sustainable basis to help the country achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
“This means more innovative measures to ensure the NHIS is felt by all, as a reliable social safety net.
“We should continue to create partnerships, drawing on the expertise and capacities of partners from different disciplines and sectors,” she said.
Dr Lydia Dsane-Selby, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NHIA, said the ability of the scheme to function efficiently was tied to the increase in membership, which allows for the pooling of more funds to provide quality care.
The creation of a mobile platform for the renewal of cards and the linking the Ghana card with NHIS card, she observed, has created a growing interest among citizens as the transportation cost and time for queuing to renew and register for the card has drastically been reduced.
She urged philanthropists to take up the responsibility of registering and renewing cards for less privileged persons in society.
“We also implore religious bodies, civil society organisations and corporate entities to organise renewal parties where the cost of NHIS membership is catered for,” she said.
The Abola Mantse, Nii Ahene Nunoo III, who chaired the event on behalf of the Ga Mantse, King Tackie Teiko Tsuru II, said the NHIS, was the best health intervention in the country.
He called for support of the scheme and described the membership drive as timely since the country was at a crossroads of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected many lives.
“As they say health is wealth and so a nation’s wealth is the health of its people,” he added.
The maiden edition of the NHIS week celebration in 2020 helped the authority engage 748,884 people across the country, where some 302,000 were newly registered.
Activities outlined for this year’s celebration include the airing of a documentary on childhood cancer and family planning, a poster exhibition, and the organising of floats and roadshows in selected districts.
There will also be a renewal and registration exercise across districts using the Ghana card, a public lecture as well as the launch of customer service centres at selected health facilities.