The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in collaboration with the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection has launched a pilot project in the Upper East Region to identify the extreme poor and most vulnerable and to enrol them onto the NHIS.
The Pilot project funded by the African Health Markets for Equity (AHME) would have Bolgatanga Municipal, the Kassena-Nankana Municipal and Kassena-Nankana West District benefitting.
The project, which is expected to commence on March 8, this year, would enumerate 11,800 core poor households in the Kassena-Nankana Municipal and Kassena-Nankana West District with 14,400 in the Bolgatanga Municipality to assess their income status before enrolling the poorest into the Scheme.
Launching the project at separate functions in Bolgatanga and Navrongo on Friday, the Regional Director of the Scheme, Mr Sebastian Alagpulinsa, observed that as the country develops over time, the population’s demand for better social protection increases, hence the need for government to find innovative means to provide for health needs of the population.
He explained that the government, through the NHIS in collaboration with the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection and other partners like the Department of Social Welfare and the district assemblies among others were implementing the project to address such needs of the people.
The Regional Director stated that as part of the project implementation, the Scheme would continue to embark upon sensitization programmes in the selected communities to educate them about it.
The Regional Director, who expressed dissatisfaction at some health service providers charging additional monies instead of sticking to the contract signed by them and the NHIS, expressed the hope that with the review of the service tariffs, which was expected to take effect from March 1, the problem would be solved.
The Director of National Operations of the Scheme, Mr Rockson Kofi Atakolie, said the three Districts in the Region were lucky to be selected to benefit from the package, and impressed upon the stakeholders including chiefs, assembly members and opinion leaders to support the project to succeed.
He mentioned that over the years, the Scheme had been grappling to identify the real people who were poor and vulnerable during enrolment and expressed the hope that the new project would help address the problem.
The Scheme Manager of the Kassena-Nankana Municipal and West District, Mr. Ayamga Agana Clement, said the Scheme was already enrolling vulnerable groups and school children and said the implementation of the new project would improve the scheme.
The Regional Coordinating Director, Alhaji Abdulai Abubakar, who stood in for the Regional Minister, Mr Albert Abongo, lauded the new intervention and commended the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection and the funding agency, the African Health Markets for Equity.