GHANA – The Vice President of Ghana, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has launched a new comprehensive online self-enrolment portal designed to make registration onto, and renewal of existing membership of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
The “MyNHIS App”, an addition to the several digital platforms introduced into the health sector, has several user-friendly features such as enabling persons desirous of enrolling onto the NHIS to do so in the comfort of their homes using their mobile phones.
It operates on both Android and iOS smartphones and allows NHIS members to securely pay registration and membership renewal fees from their mobile money wallets, bank and visa accounts.
Dr Bawumia, during the launch in Tamale on Monday, said the agenda to enroll the citizenry onto the NHIS could only be realised through digital health solutions.
He said the Scheme had contributed to increased utilisation of healthcare services leading to improved outcomes and reduction in maternal and child mortalities in the country.
As part of government’s digitalisation agenda, it launched a digital health solution in the pharmaceutical space called the National Electronic Pharmaceutical Platform (NEPP) where clients could use their mobile phones to order prescriptions to be delivered to them in the comfort of their homes, he said.
“At present, over 16 million people are active members of the Scheme, representing 54% of the population, an increase from 40% in 2019. Out of this number, over 80% are old members who used the mobile application to renew their membership,” Vice President Bawumia said.
“This has reduced the queue as well as the crowd at the offices of the NHIS, especially at the Tamale NHIS Metro Office where we used to see old men and women, pregnant women, the physically challenged queuing from as early as 3:00am just to have the cards renewed in order to access healthcare.
“Digitalization has made it possible by just dialing *929# and following through the process to instantly renew your card without travelling to the office to queue.”
Embedded in the app is a member authentication feature to enable healthcare providers validate the membership status of members of the Scheme before providing healthcare services.
The feature of the application will also help to reduce spurious claims, ranging from impersonation and claims manufacturing resulting from collusion between NHIS clients and healthcare providers.
“We believe that this milestone will accelerate progress towards our quest to achieve universal health coverage by 2030,” the Vice President said.
Dr Bernard Okoe Boye, the Chief Executive Officer, National Health Insurance Authority, said the last four months had witnessed, amongst other things, the inclusion of the treatment of four childhood cancers onto the benefits package of the NHIS.
“There was also 30 per cent upward adjustment of medicines list and tariffs, and the establishment of the Co-payment Committee to mitigate the impact of outof-pocket payments by our members,” he said.
Alhaji Shani Alhassan Saibu, the Northern Regional Minister, said there had been high levels of subscription onto the NHIS in the region, especially amongst vulnerable groups.
In 2020, 146,199 core persons were enrolled onto the Scheme whilst the figure rose to 197,906 in 2021.
He entreated the citizenry to take advantage of the “MyNHIS App” being the convenient way to enroll onto the NHIS.