Outgoing Minister for Health, Sherry Ayittey has stated that Ashanti region is next to join the NHIS instant ID card issuance based on biometric data platform.
She said this will happen before the end of June.
According to her, “all necessary installations of biometric equipment have been made at the registration centres and implementation will kick off before the end of June.”
The biometric system has so far been rolled out in the Central, Eastern and Greater Accra regions.
The system among other things guarantees the instant issuance of ID cards to subscribers.
The Minister made the comments when she took her turn at Meet-the-Press series on Tuesday.
Speaking on the NHIS and three other government agencies under her Ministry, Ms Ayittey noted that the NHIS has seen far-reaching reforms over the last few years geared towards protecting the scheme and ensuring its sustainability.
She therefore called on all Ghanaians to stand behind the Scheme and contribute towards its success.
According to her, “the NHIS is a national asset that must be protected and supported by all.” She added that “the NHIS undoubtedly is the most successful health financing strategy we as a country have crafted for ourselves. Indeed, it was fashioned out of need, home-grown and home financed.”
Ms Ayittey mentioned capitation, electronic claims processing, instant biometric ID card and the establishment of claims processing centres in four zones across the country to professionalize claims management as measures the NHIA was undertaking to ensure efficient operations.
On capitation, the Minister pointed out that it is one of the payment methods currently being incrementally implemented across the country and one that presents the NHIA with the most efficient means of reaching Universal Health Coverage.
Ms Ayittey acknowledged that though the introduction of this payment method generated some disquiet, the Ministry listened to divergent views from various stakeholder groups to fine-tune the package.
“Government took the view that it was not unusual for such resistance to herald any new system that sought to change our ways of doing things, but considered the merits of the debate and went ahead to make necessary modifications to the program to ensure wider buy-in,” Madam Ayittey stated.
The Health Minister talked about delays in claims payment and assured that she “is in talks with the Finance minister to ensure the release of monies to settle all outstanding claims.”
The Meet-the-Press session focused on four agencies under the Health Ministry, namely the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), NHIA, Pharmacy Council and the Medical and Dental Council.
The session was Ms Ayittey’s last as Health Minister as she has been moved to the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture.