Thursday, March 13, 2008

Jaman North NHIS registers more clients

Story: Samuel Duodu, Sampa
THE Jaman North District Health Insurance Scheme at Sampa in the Brong Ahafo Region had, as of December last year, registered 66,853 clients, representing 65 per cent of the district’s population.
The registration was in response to a directive by the National Health Insurance Authority to ensure that 50 per cent of the population subscribed to it within that year.
The Board Chairman of the scheme, Mr James Yaw Peh, disclosed this at the fifth annual general meeting of the scheme at Sampa, the district capital.
He said the scheme also realised a total amount of GH¢1,062,920 from both registration and premium, adding that it had settled all bills and claims with service providers up to the end of January this year, which involved an amount of GH¢954,692 for 113,00 clients who visited the various health facilities in the district.
He expressed concern about the way some clients attended health facilities more often than necessary.
Mr Peh said during the period under review, the government released quarterly funds to the tune of GH¢1,062,920, covering the premium of the exempted groups, made up of SSNIT contributors, pensioners and those below the age of 18, which was more than 50 per cent of the total enrolment.
The board chairman, however, called on beneficiaries of the scheme who had derived its immense benefits to be the ambassadors of the scheme to encourage people who had not yet subscribed to it to do so.
Mr Peh expressed appreciation to the government, the Jaman North District Assembly, health providers, as well as a non-governmental organisation (NGO), Nipa Ba Brew Geriatic Centre, for supporting the scheme to achieve the 65 per cent coverage.
The Scheme Manager, Mr Joseph Mensah, attributed the success of the scheme to the quality service provided for clients by health providers, coupled with the professionalism and friendless of the staff in dealing with clients.
He pledged that the scheme would intensify its campaign to achieve 80 per cent coverage by the next meeting.
The Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, stressed the need for health insurance agents to adopt what he described as “effective and efficient means” of convincing people to join the scheme.
The District Chief Executive (DCE), Madam Elizabeth Obah, entreated people who had registered under the Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to resist the temptation of accessing health care under the scheme when there was no need to do so.
She observed that many people had the wrong impression that once they had paid their premium, they must visit a health facility at all cost before the year ended, whether sick or not.
Madam Obah stated that the practice of recouping one’s premium at all cost defeated the risk sharing principle of the health insurance scheme, which ensures that the sick got quality health care at minimum cost.
She commended the management and staff of the scheme for their good work
The DCE, however, stressed the need for the NHIS staff to attend refresher courses in order to update their skills.

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