NHIS staff in Kumasi sleep in office due to pressure from biometric registration

Health Insurance personnel in the Ashanti Region are compelled to spend the night in their offices in order to attend to the overwhelming numbers of clients who turn up to undergo biometric registration.

Hundreds of existing and potential subscribers have been trooping to the offices of the National Health Insurance Scheme to renew or apply for membership.

Over 150,000 subscribers have been registered in the Ashanti Region alone, less than two months of introduction of the biometric system of data capturing for the scheme.

Personnel have had to work under pressure due to large number of applicants, some of whom stay in queues for hours, and have their appointment rescheduled many times.

Overwhelmed by the numbers, authorities have deployed more staff to work between 10 and 22 hours, contrary to stated service conditions of service to attend to more people.

This also means workers start work as early as 5 am to attend to dozens of clients who turn up in the offices sometimes at 3 am.

The situation is widespread especially in the Kumasi Metropolis and other cluster districts.

Bantama District Manager, Acheampong Korankye who leads a charge of workers says they have had to adopt the new system to attend to subscribers who are the ultimate targets.

“When you take our conditions of service; we are supposed to work 8-hours but now we are working not less than twenty hours a day. We are running something like a shift system. From 5 o’clock a.m till the next day 5 am, we are here,” Mr. Korankye revealed.

Authorities have divided the 25 administrative districts of the scheme into five clusters to reduce the pressure.

Over 500 military personnel and their families at the Central Command in Kumasi have been going through the process since Tuesday.

Public Relations Officer to the command, Lieutenant Christiana Osei-Duah told Nhyira FM the personnel have been relieved of the difficult task of travelling to Accra for the registration.

She believes the registration will also afford the military personnel opportunity to access quality healthcare delivery away from their medical reception stations.

“It has in a way reduced our headache of going to Accra for that registration. It’s a step in right direction because it would help us.  These cards would help us access quality healthcare” she said.

Meanwhile Regional Manager of the NHIA, Daniel Acheampong-Frimpong, says the scheme is targeting the security agencies and organized groups whilst registering clients at their doorsteps.

The NHIA office in Kumasi is also taking delivery of more mobile registration kits to register more residents at their door steps.

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