Assemblies urged to be interested in indigents’ registration onto NHIS
Participants at a National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) Dialogue for the Volta and Oti regions have called for guidelines to trigger strict compliance for the registration of indigents onto the NHIS.
They suggested that a guideline in the form of District Performance Assessment Tool (formerly, Functional Organisation Assessment Tool) was needed in the award of funds under the District Development Facility to become the compliant checklist for the approval of financial support to the assemblies.
The participants contended that should the guidelines become a pre-qualification for the advancement of funds to the assemblies, compliance would no longer be selective but working guideline for all assemblies to treat indigents with much businesslike approach.
Mr Innocent Komla Agbolosu, the Nkwanta South Director of the Department of Social Welfare and Community Development, said emerging trends revealed that metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) did not attach much seriousness to social protection issues but comfortable about tangible development results believing that such requirements could change the narrative.
He said compelling compliance was the way to go as all targets were not being met.
Mrs Stella M. Mawutor, the Acting Volta Regional Director, Department of Social Welfare and Community Development, said "unnecessary" bureaucratic processes must be abolished to facilitate the registration of indigents onto the Scheme.
She said the frustrations of having to gain approval and capturing the category of people delayed the registration process at the detriment of the poor and the vulnerable.
The group identified inadequate funding support, lack of logistics and internet connectivity as challenges that had hampered the registration of indigents.
They called for stronger collaborations between major actors in identifying and registering indigents to ensure no one was left out.
Mr Emmanuel Avinu, a Representative from the Volta Regional NHIA Office, called on staff to evolve innovative strategies to overcome difficulties.
He said the Regional Office had targeted to register 297,000 indigents, out of which about 80,000 had been registered, with last year alone recording about 31,000.
Mr Adamu Munkaila, Civil Society Advisor, People for Health (P4H), SEND Ghana, said the P4H Dialogue was being piloted in five districts in the Volta and Oti regions, namely; Nkwanta South, Nkwanta North, Krachi East, Agotime-Ziope and Adaklu, implemented by a consortium comprising SEND Ghana, Pensplusbyte and the Ghana News Agency with funding support from USAID.
The project aims at promoting equity and reducing health inequalities by strengthening the capacity of both government and civil society organisations for mutual accountability.
He said the Dialogue was looking to adopt innovative strategies in identifying indigents and ensuring that they were freely registered onto the Scheme as stipulated by the NHIA ACT 852 of 2012.