Greater Accra NHIA to open centres in hospitals

The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) says it would soon open its Biometric Membership System (BMS) registration centres in hospitals in the Greater Accra Region to make the process easily accessible to the public.

Mr Lawrence Amartey, Greater Accra Regional Director of the NHIA, said despite the challenges facing the implementation of the BMS in the region, demand from the public had compelled them to extend their working hours and to even work on weekends.

He recounted that following the successful implementation of the BMS pilot project in July 2013, it was fully rolled out in the region in January this year, saying that, the Scheme had recorded 700,000 BMS registrations, which they hoped to boost to 1.5 million by the close of the year.

Mr Amartey, who was giving his welcome address at the Region’s BMS Review Meeting, said the event was to enable them to reflect on the first half of the year, look at their successes, challenges, and the outlook for the rest of the year.

He said the scheme had set aside the period of August to October, 2014 for the registrations of vulnerable people in institutions like the Pantang Hospital, the Weija Leprosarium and the Accra Psychiatric Hospital.

He said the Scheme has been organizing registrations for other institutions, like churches, during the weekends to enable them to capture more people.

Mr Amartey said the Scheme has 14 district offices in the Region, in addition to a recently commissioned satellite office at Sowutuom in Accra.

The Regional Director observed that under the BMS the staff in their efforts to capture the bio-data of people sometimes ended up contracting some communicable diseases like tuberculosis, chicken pox and cholera.

He explained that in order to avoid such situations, NHIA staff had been advised to put on gloves, nose marks and to regularly apply hand sanitizers.

Mr Collins Akuamoah Danso, NHIA Deputy Director, Membership and Provider Relations, lauded the Ashaiman and Tema NHIA offices for being among the top 19 performing schemes in the country.

He advised Scheme Managers to take the issue of membership recruitment very seriously since their success depended largely on it. GNA

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