Wa — At least 231,246 people have renewed their National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) cards in the Upper West Region, using the mobile application platform last year, the Regional Director for the NHIS, Abass Suleymana has disclosed.
He said "The population coverage also increased from 54 per cent in 2018 to 57 per cent in 2019 and the coverage of the poor and vulnerable increased from 70, 358 in 2018 to 93,400 in 2019, representing a 33 per cent increase over last year's figure".
Mr Suleymana made this known at the 2019 performance review meeting of the NHIA at Wa, on Saturday, on the theme: "Leveraging technology and innovation to facilitate progress towards universal health coverage".
The mobile renewal platform, which was introduced in December 2018, he said allowed subscribers to renew and check their membership validity as well as drugs covered by the scheme through their mobile phones from the comfort of their homes.
Mr Suleymana said the regional NHIS team was working tirelessly to ensure that everyone in the country became a member of NHIS via the mobile renewal system, as the process was devoid of the usual queues that members had to endure when they visited the office to renew their membership.
"During the introduction of the system in the region, all stakeholders were engaged to educate them on the need to use the system to access healthcare without financial constraint", he indicated.
Mr Suleymana said with the exception of the Sissala West and Wa East districts where network connectivity was a challenge, all the other municipal and districts assemblies were able to exceed their target on the mobile renewal such that 60 per cent of revenue mobilised by the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) in 2019 came through the platform.
"We believe that if we are able to improve on the network connectivity in the affected areas, it is definitely going to impact positively on our membership and our revenue mobilisation in the region", he said.
Mr Suleymana said it was incumbent on the NHIA to use technology and innovation to enhance productivity and performance of the system.
He indicated that the universal coverage would be achieved if the network and mobile connectivity was fixed.
Mr Suleymana, however, said there was the need to address changes, especially staffing and inadequate funding and equipment.