The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) in the Upper East Region, has in one month recorded 18,289 membership renewals on the Mobile Renewal platform; indicating an overwhelming acceptance of the technological innovation by subscribers within the region.
This was revealed in a data presented to the Upper East Regional Minister, Ambassador Paulina Patience Abayage, by Sebastian Alagpulinsa, the Upper East Regional Director of NHIA, on Friday.
In a presentation done on his behalf, Mr. Alagpulinsa announced that between December 21 last year and January 31st 2019, records gathered from the nine district NHIS offices in the region indicate a total of 18,289 membership renewals.
Breakdown analyses from the various district offices show that, Bawku-West made 4,649; Bolgatanga municipal 2,895; Bawku municipal 2,501 and Bongo 2,187 among others.
The NHIA in December, 2018 rolled out a new platform that allows subscribers of NHIS to renew their membership at their convenience by simply dialing *929# to trigger the renewal process on their mobile phones.
The system works efficiently with mobile money banking platform that allows clients to make appropriate payments to renew their membership.
This innovation means clients no longer have to go to district offices to join long queues for renewal of their cards.
Only clients requiring fresh cards or replacement of their cards and the totally exempt categories will need to go to the district offices.
Mr. Alagpulinsa noted that the initiative is the beginning of a total digitization of the system; expressing his outfit’s greatest commitment to achieve sustainability of the scheme and by ensuring that there is improved access to the scheme and health care; and eventually achieve Universal Health Coverage especially at the primary level by 2030.
Touching on challenges confronting their operations in the region, Mr. Alagpulinsa observed that some district offices in the region are still challenged with office space; citing the Builsa North district office which is housed in a private residence.
He added that “The Authority is still confronted with transportation challenges. Some district offices for example, Bawku West and Bolgatanga Municipal are not having functional vehicles. We still lack some critical staff at some of the district offices, especially MIS Officers.”
Sitting in for the Regional Minister, Mahamudu Assibi Azongo, the Upper East Regional Coordinating Director, said there was the need for a pragmatic approach to address the accommodation challenge of the NHIA; a situation he described as a long standing hindrance to the Authorities’ operations.