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NIA, NHIA collaborate to use Ghana Card

BY: Rebecca Quaicoe Duho
NIA, NHIA collaborate to use Ghana Card
NIA, NHIA collaborate to use Ghana Card

Ghanaians who have the Ghana Card will soon be able to register for the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), renew their NHIS membership and access healthcare services using their cards.

This has become possible due to a collaboration between the National Identification Authority (NIA) and the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA).

The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, made this known in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) to Parliament Thursday.

Describing the current health insurance system as “buoyant”, the President said the government had paid up the GH¢1.2 billion arrears it inherited and brought the operations of the NHIS back to life.

According to him, on December 19, 2018, the NHIS launched the introduction of mobile renewal of membership and since then there had been, on the average, 70,000 members renewing their membership every week by dialling *929# on any mobile phone network.

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World Health Assembly

“In May 2018, Ghana won accolades at the World Health Assembly (WHA) for having eradicated trachoma, an eye disease that had plagued us for a long time. Today, our NHIS is buoyant,” he said.

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To deliver health care to Ghanaians more efficiently, he said, in 2018 the government granted financial clearance for the recruitment of 11,018 health personnel to increase existing clinical staff.

Also to augment the efforts of clinical staff, in September 2018 the Ministry of Health received further financial clearance to employ 14,254 nurse assistants (clinical and preventive), he added.

Those nurse assistants, according to the President, belonged to the tranche that passed their examination in 2016 from government health training institutions and commenced work on February 1, 2019.

He added that the Ministry of Health was working to obtain financial clearance for the recruitment of the 2017 and 2018 graduates.

Infrastructure deficit

The President observed that the country still faced problems of inadequate infrastructure in its health establishments, as numerous structures were at various stages of completion.

He said Ghana’s hardworking nurses and doctors would do their best, as they had always done, to deliver best health care, but added that it “behoves each one of us to look after ourselves better”.

“Apart from exercising and taking our regular health check-ups seriously, it is imperative that we eat healthy diets to prevent diseases that are caused by poor choices of nutrition,” he advised.

Ambulances

The President confirmed earlier reports that from June this year each of the 275 constituencies across the country would receive an ambulance.

The arrival of those ambulances, he said, was expected to significantly strengthen the health delivery system of Ghana.

Also, he said, drone technology would be introduced into the system to help deliver essential medicines, blood and blood products to remote communities.

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