The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) has recorded over 16 million subscribers under its National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), that seeks to provide quality healthcare delivery to Ghanaians, the Deputy Director of Operations of the NHIA, Anthony Gingong has said. The NHIA is currently running a ‘Special Registration Exercise’ to beef up its data base. The idea is to extend healthcare services to every Ghanaian living in the country. “This special registration exercise, which started some six weeks ago, has registered over one million people. The exercise alone has shot up our total coverage of the country, in terms of registration, from fifteen million and five hundred, to over sixteen million.” Anthony Gingong made this observation in an exclusive interview with The Chronicle over the weekend in Accra, when the NHIA, together with the Al-Hayaat Foundation, Muslim Youth in Free Enterprise, and the Member of Parliament for Ayawaso East, Alhaji Mustapha Ahmed, organised a breast and cervical cancer awareness and screening program for residents of Nima. The current figure recorded by the NHIA, according to Gingong, represents sixty six per cent, and hoped that ‘by the close of this year (2010), the NHIA would cover about seventy per cent of the Ghanaian population.” “The special registration exercise is bringing results. It is giving opportunity to people to have access to health without financial hindrance. In Bawku, where people think that because of conflict people have run away, and that no health activity can be done, in one day, we registered nine thousand people, and we’ve delivered their cards to them,” said Gingong, adding, “We are very convinced that by the end of this year, we should have covered at least seventy per cent of the total population of Ghana with this Special ongoing registration exercise.” To that end, Gingong challenged the media to use their medium to educate the people and health providers that “once people have registered with the NHIA, they are entitled to free medical care.” “When there were problems with payments, the media was out there lambasting the NHIA for delaying in payments. Today, we are paying up to date. The complain has been with people going to facilities, and some facilities are asking them to pay extra monies, and I expected the media to pick on this, and to let the people know that once you have registered with the NHIA, you walk into a health facility, and you are supposed to be treated free of charge. Again, this time, it has gone to the blind side of the media.”

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