The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), has taken delivery of some consumables and has begun restocking district offices of the scheme which ran short of some ID card printing materials.
Some offices of the Scheme in the last few days, could not issue new cards or renew existing ones, due to inadequate ribbons at some of district offices and registration centres.
The NHIA explained that, the situation arose because various outreach programs and collaborations with partner institutions such as the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection and the Education Ministry in enrolling pupils on the school feeding program, all prisoners in the country’s prisons among other vulnerable group registrations, made the NHIA overshoot its target which led to the low stock levels.
According to Selorm Adonoo, Head of Communications at the NHIA, “the NHIS as a social protection scheme has a mandate to enroll all identified vulnerable people, and our collaboration with the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection has been very useful in helping us reach out to many of the disadvantaged people in the society and bringing relief to them.”
On Thursday however, the NHIA took delivery of the consumables and the Authority says the offices which experienced the shortage and low stock levels have been supplied.
Mr. Adonoo mentioned that, some of the offices which have received their supplies have started work and the situation will normalize around the country by weekend.
According to Mr. Adonoo, the shortage has mainly been a result of the Scheme’s expansion where more people beyond the estimated number have registered in the first part of the year to be part of the scheme.
“It is important to understand that due to the nature of targets we set for ourselves, we started the year with a lot of outreach and field programs that ensured the registration of many people, which is why you hear in the news that regions like Greater Accra and others have exceeded their quarterly targets. The NHIS in this case has become a victim of its own success,” Mr. Adonoo told Citi News.
Membership of the NHIS in 2015 stood at 11.2 million, and officials of the Scheme have given the indication that they hope to improve upon this number.
In 2015, people visited the hospital 30 million times on account of the Scheme.
The NHIA has a network of about 4,000 healthcare service providers in the country from whom members can access care.