Chief Executive of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Dr. Lydia Dsane-Selby, says the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS)’s Week Celebration will help integrate the general public into the Scheme as its third arm.

She noted that there is a need to institute the celebration as a way of highlighting the importance of healthcare and addressing the needs of the general public.

“This is a chance to get in with them [citizens], educate them on the benefits of the Health Insurance, encourage people to renew their registration and generally interact and really make sure we’re meeting the needs of the people,” she told Joy News.

The NHIS Week Celebration, themed “Leaving no one behind” commenced on Monday, November 9 and is expected to end on Friday, November 13, 2020.

According to Dr. Dsane-Selby, the utilization of healthcare centres dropped with the introduction of the Covid-19 pandemic.

She explained that in April this year, perhaps due to the fear of coronavirus about thirty to thirty-five percent of people who will usually visit hospitals and clinics for health treatment did not do so.

“We have 23.1 million unique biometrics in our database, and that makes us the biggest database in Ghana. The number is also 77% of the estimated population. We need to reach out to all of them to get back on board, stay active, and make sure we are in constant contact with them,” she said.

While assuring the public of the competency of the Ghanaian health system, the NHIA boss also noted the need for public education on the importance of seeking professional healthcare.

“We’re analyzing the claims that are coming in to see if we can pinpoint what category of people don’t seek help. People with acute illnesses will always seek care or emergencies. It’s kind of the chronic diseases that people may choose to try and manage themselves at home, and that isn’t the best,” she explained.

Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, subsequently launched the government’s latest digitisation effort at the start of the Celebration on Monday.

He announced the completion of works to integrate the National Health Insurance Card with the Ghana Card to make it the sole source of identification for persons living in Ghana and for accessing public services,

By dialling the shortcode *929# and following the prompts, holders of the two cards can now link their National Health Insurance Cards to the Ghana Card and use the Ghana Card to access health care at any accredited National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) facility across the nation.

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