For the first time in four years, a five year plan has been created to ensure the continual implementation and efficiency of the National Health Insurance Council since its establishment.

The executive secretary of the NHIC, Ras Boateng has briefed the Council of State, to ensure the scheme (based on Act 650) reaches its new national target of 70% coverage by the end of 2012.

At the introduction of the scheme, the target national coverage was to reach 40% by the end of 2008. This was successfully achieved in the first quarter of 2007, a statement signed yesterday by Ibrahim Wiredu, Public Affairs Manager, said.

The prime objectives of the new plan include transforming the NHIC into a solution based organisation. This will ensure the efficient communication and marketing strategy, to create a higher standard of service. Furthermore, it will establish competence within the staff base through strengthened levels of education and training of employees.

Registration has reached both regional and national levels with 8,754,737 registered, which equates to 45% of the population. In comparison, in December 2006, registration stood at only 38%. In addition, the number of people receiving ID cards enabled them to receive free health care under the scheme, totals 5, 101, 472, a quarter of the population.

Brong Ahafo is championing regional performance, with 66% implementation, an increase of 12% from last June, closely followed by Central region with an increase to 53%. Northern and Ashanti regions have exchanged positions, with the Northern region attaining 50%, whilst the Ashanti region achieved 47 %.

Eastern region retained its position at fifth place, increasing its registration to 44%, higher than that of the national average. The Volta region also maintained its sixth position, by increasing its registration by 41% during its first quarter. The Upper West region usurped seventh position by increasing registration by 39%, whilst the Western Region dropped to eighth position.

However it still managed an increase of 38%. An increase of only 2% in the same year cemented Greater Accra’s position at the bottom of the registration ladder.

The plan was welcomed by members of the Council of the State, as the NHIC is seen to affect the lives of every resident in the country. Consequently, the scheme has the full support and co-operation of the Council to ensure its success.

Source: The Statesman