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Bawku conflict, illegal fees preventing attainment of Universal Health Coverage – NHIA

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The quest for universal health coverage remains elusive in the Upper East Region, with the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) grappling with persistent challenges exacerbated by the prolonged conflict in Bawku.

Kasimu Abdulai, the Regional Director of the NHIA, revealed that since 2022, the organization has been unable to achieve its goal due to various hurdles, primarily stemming from the unrest in Bawku and its environs.

Mr. Abdulai lamented that despite their concerted efforts, the NHIA’s membership stood at a modest 64% as of 2023, falling short of the desired target.

He attributed this shortfall predominantly to the adverse impact of the Bawku conflict, which has hindered residents’ ability to access NHIA services effectively.

Renewing or registering for health insurance cards has become arduous for individuals within Bawku and nearby communities, exacerbated by challenges such as limited mobility and inadequate internet connectivity, which impede online registration processes.

Mr. Abdulai further highlighted another concerning issue plaguing the NHIA’s efforts – the illegal imposition of fees by some of their officers for renewal or registration services.

According to him, these unauthorized charges not only deter potential members but also tarnish the NHIA’s reputation, further hindering its quest for increased membership.

Addressing stakeholders at the 2023 annual performance review in Bolgatanga, Mr. Abdulai emphasized the significance of such gatherings in assessing the NHIA’s achievements, identifying areas for improvement, and devising strategies to enhance service delivery to its clientele.

Dignitaries in attendance echoed their support for the NHIA’s endeavors, urging Mr. Abdulai and his team to redouble their efforts in expanding the organization’s membership base.

Stephen Yakubu, the Upper East Regional Minister, underscored the urgency of bolstering the NHIA’s membership, emphasizing the pivotal role it plays in achieving broader healthcare objectives.

Mr. Yakubu emphasized the need for the NHIA to strive for a membership of at least 90%, emphasizing the transformative impact such an achievement would have on healthcare accessibility and affordability across the region.

Source: A1Radioonline.com|101.1Mhz|Moses Apiah|Bolgatanga|Ghana

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