The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in the Bono Region has exceeded the World Health Organization’s Universal Health Coverage (UHC) target of 80% population coverage.
The WHO, under the Sustainable Development Goal 3.8, targets to achieve UHC for all by 2030, where people will have access to essential health services.
But according to the Bono Regional Director of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Joseph Mensah, they are 8 years ahead of the target as they enrolled 82% and 81% in 2020 and 2021, respectively, of the regional population of 1,168,807 and 1,208,649 for the same years, onto the scheme.
He disclosed this during the 2021 end-of-year performance review meeting for the region in Sunyani.
“Out of a 2021 annual performance target of 1,085,737, the region has been able to attain 973,247 (89.6%) active membership”, he explained.
In the previous year, 2020, the Bono region targeted to enroll 783,123 and achieved 958,373, representing 122% active membership.
Mr. Mensah, who has been the director from 2018-2019 (then Brong Ahafo Region) and 2020-2021 (now Bono Region), also said they have “topped the NHIS annual active membership performance league table for 4 successive years.
He noted that the achievement of the scheme in the region is highlighted by the attainment of the UHC’s three-dimensional requirement as set out by WHO – the population covered effectively, essential services covered, and direct cost or insurance.
Without the hard work of the staff, especially those at the district levels, Mr. Mensah said, they could not have chalked what he described as an “enviable achievement”, thus thanked them for their efforts.
He, however, said, while they look forward to the many logistical challenges, like vehicles, computers, accessories, furniture, among others, addressed, they must avoid complacency and rather work extra hard to sustain and improve on their achievements while they continue to be the pacesetters among the regions.
The Bono regional director of the NHIA, Joseph Mensah, also revealed that the Authority has reimbursed facilities for services rendered up to June 2021. He said while they take steps to improve claims payment, they will continue to tighten all loose ends to lower the prevalence of co-payment and other related bad practices at the provider sites.
The Authority in the region, according to Mr. Mensah, also mobilized ¢8,096,698.54 against an annual target of ¢10,608,427.82, (76%) at the close of the year 2021.
A Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Officer at the regional office of the Authority, Mohammed Bugumah, explained that aside from assessing the facilities with a binding contract, the Authority routinely monitor and evaluate the provider’s facilities, conduct a clinical audit into their services and procedures, regular stakeholder engagement and a well-equipped operational call center to deal with complaints in real-time from providers and subscribers in 6 languages.
He said they also embark on an intensive educational drive to explain the NHIS benefit package to the public, their rights and responsibilities under the scheme.
The Authority, he said, also has strategic measures of curbing illegal collection of money from clients, and punishment for provider’s fraudulent acts, including suspension and withdrawal of the credential certificate.
This, he stressed, is part of measures that ensure clients and patients get value for money.
Mr. Bugumah urged the residents to enroll in the scheme and also use the available platform of *929# to link the NHIS card and the Ghana card or renew their membership in the comfort of their homes to benefit from the numerous healthcare services provided under the scheme.
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