The Central Regional branch of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), has registered free of charge, a total of 1,620 inmates of four prison centres, and one communicable disease centre onto the National Health Insurance Scheme.
They included Ankafo Main, Annex, Maximum, and the Winneba Prisons.
Out of the total inmates registered, the three Ankafo Prisons and the communicable disease control centre in the area recorded 1,437, who were given new NHIA Biometric Identification Cards, to enable them to source healthcare anywhere in the country, while Winneba Prisons also recorded 183 new clients.
The registration team which carried out the Ankafo Prisons and the Communicable Disease Control Centre assignment, took advantage of the occasion to register some vulnerable citizens at the Ankafo Psychiatric Hospital.
Mr. Francis Oti Frimpong, Central Regional Director of the NHIA, headed the two registration teams from Cape Coast and the Winneba offices of the NHIA to execute the programme.
He said the exercise was a follow up to the Nsawam Prisons Inmates’ registration, which was witnessed recently by the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur, at the Nsawam Prisons.
During the Nsawam Prisons registration exercise, Nana Oye Lithur announced that the programme would be replicated in all the regions across the country.
Mr. Oti Frimpong said the exercise was a collaborative initiative between the NHIA and the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, and was principally designed to offer prisoners easy access to quality health care delivery.
It was also aimed at empowering the vulnerable, excluded, aged, and persons with various forms of disabilities, through the use of social protection and other interventions, to also benefit from the Health Insurance Policy.
Nana Oye Lithur reiterated Government support for the vulnerable in society when she addressed beneficiary prisoners at Nsawam, saying that this assurance was given by the President John Dramani Mahammah when he visited the Central Region in April, 2015, as part of his special “Easter Feast with the disabled” in the region to support them.
Mr. Nathaniel Otoo, the Chie Executive Officer of the NHIA, assured the prisoners that their cards were valid not only within the prison yard, but also anywhere in the region.
Mr. Otoo pledged stronge collaboration between the Authority and the Ministry.
The Director of Membership and Regional Operations, Mr. Ben Kusi, commended the scheme for the exercise, and advised the staff to register all the vulnerable in the region per the adopted guidelines.
Mr. Thomas Aquinas Tawiah Quansah, the Central Regional Minister, expressed his deepest appreciation to the team for the exercise, and promised government’s full support for all progammes and activities geared towards the general well-being of vulnerable citizens in the region.
Mr. Matchador, Public Relations Officer of the Ankafo Maximum Prisons, received the new Biometric NHIA Identification Cards on behalf of the beneficiaries from the NHIA Regional Director, Mr. Francis Oti Frimpong, and thanked him for the exercise.
He said the provision of the NHIA ID Cards would help relieve the Prisons authoritie of the million of cedis which the State spent annually to defray huge medical bills of the inmates.
Mr. Oti Frempong assured them that, the team will be back in September next year to renew the cards and register new inmates. GNA