Management of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has drawn up a strategy that will allow people to enrol onto the scheme for a maximum of three years before they renew their cards.
The initiative, which started this month, forms part of efforts aimed at reducing the number of people who fall out of the scheme annually after the expiry of their cards.
Receiving a high-powered delegation of technocrats from Senegal in Accra last Monday, the acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NHIS, Mr Nathaniel Otoo, said 30 per cent of NHIS subscribers failed to re-enrol onto the scheme annually for various reasons.
“This situation is a drawback to our desire to ensure increased access, but we hope this initiative will help increase annual renewals to a minimum of 80 per cent in subsequent years,” he said.
Led by the Deputy CEO of Senegal’s health insurance scheme, Mr Mamadou Senghor, the seven-member Senegalese delegation will stay in Ghana for one week, during which they will learn from the Ghanaian example and also share their experiences with their Ghanaian counterparts.
Among the areas the two sides will explore are management information systems, administrative and human resource and client service.
The NHIS regime in the country requires clients to renew their membership annually to enable them to access free health care at licensed healthcare facilities.
Currently, the scheme covers 11.3 million people, representing 41 per cent of the national population.
However, Mr Otoo observed that the failure of 30 per cent of NHIS card holders to re-enrol onto the scheme annually was inimical to the delivery of quality health care in the country.
Notwithstanding those challenges, he said, the NHIS had achieved some successes, among which were the increase in the number of subscribers and service providers and improved access to service providers as a result of the increase in the number of Community-based, Health Planning Services (CHPS) compounds.
Mr Senghor, for his part, observed that the decision to collaborate with Ghana stemmed from the fact that Ghana had an enviable record in terms of its health insurance scheme, adding that the sharing of ideas would help Senegal boost its system.
He said similarities in the context of health care in Africa required countries on the continent to share ideas to boost their health systems.
The delegation made a presentation on the state of health insurance in Senegal since the scheme began in 2013 and said Senegal had similar challenges as those Ghana had grappled with.