- On May 3, 2015
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SEND-GHANA, on Thursday 23rd April, 2015, organised a validation workshop on a Part-Me and Cordaid funded draft research report on how pro-poor the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) is, in relation to Livelihood Empowerment against Poverty (LEAP) Program.
The event, held in Accra, was to review, discuss and verify the data collected from institutions and individuals as to how pro-poor the NHIS is and whether it is really serving the poor since its operation for about eleven (11) years now.
It was also to broaden health stakeholders’ perspective, to appreciate and get their buy-in and acceptance on the findings how the NHIS really operates amidst its numerous challenges.
Ms.Harriet Nuamah-Agyemang, a Programme Officer of SEND-GHANA, said there were gaps in national and regional data on active members for 2013 and other years.
The validation attempted to get answers on the percentages of active membership especially the indigents group on the NHIS.
We wanted to know the number of LEAP beneficiaries that are registered.
Generally we gathered that data has not been disputed and participants affirmed most of the findings. Aside the validation it has been an awareness creation.
Generally, one of the recommendations for this study is to lay more emphasis on information dissemination particularly questions that ordinary citizens could ask when they go to the facility and what the health packages of NHIS are. This will help beneficiaries to know what to look out for in terms of the benefits. This would prevent clients from being cheated and also know who is qualified to enjoy the service for free.
Mr. Lawrence Amartey, Greater Accra Regional Director of National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) assured the participants that, by June this year the Scheme will do all it can to complete the biometric registration. He added that the Greater Accra Region currently is conducting a mass registration exercise at the community level in order to meet its target.
According to him, some service providers are creating problems by making illegal top ups. “We will withdraw our license if you are caught engaging in fraudulent deals,” he warned.
He called on SEND-GHANA and other organisations to support the NHIS education campaign.
The Livelihood Empowerment against Poverty (LEAP) Program is a social cash transfer program which offers cash and health insurance to extremely poor households across Ghana to ease short-term poverty and encourage long term human capital development. Unlike the earlier programme which catered for the aged and the vulnerable across the country, the new LEAP 1000 project is focused on extremely poor pregnant women and infants below one year in some selected poor households, according to information on cpc.unc.edu website.
The NHIS – LEAP research forms part of the Health and Well Being Cordaid funded project.