Pregnant women advised to carry NHIS card

A staff at the Tema Metropolitan Health Insurance Scheme office, Madam Awuradjoa Asandor, has advised pregnant women to always carry their health insurance cards because not all medical services are free for them under the free delivery policy. She said although government’s policy provided free health care for pregnant women, acquiring the health insurance card, would give them the chance to enjoy the full benefit in terms of coverage. Madam Asandor, who was speaking to the Ghana News Agency in an interview on Wednesday at Tema, said although pregnant women received free health care in the public hospitals, some still think they would be charged, while others have also refused to acquire the insurance cards for reasons best known to them. “Babies are covered by their mothers’ insurance cards when they are born but after three months their mothers have to get them their own national health insurance cards. “Again what patients don’t know is that when they enter the month in which their health insurance cards would expire, they have to renew it before the actual date comes…” Madam Asandor explained. Meanwhile, some visiting patients at the Tema General Hospital had showered praises on the Tema General Hospital staff for what they described as “excellent services” being rendered at the facility in recent times. They say the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) is working well at the hospital and that generally holders of the card go through less stress to receive the needed health care. “I brought my mother here and she was taken care of using her NHIS card. The health insurance is working well here and so far I have not been told me to pay anything with physical cash,” Atta Williams told the GNA. Another patient, Horlu Williams said: ”I brought my wife here and so far everything is fine, just that there are too many people here. I brought the health insurance card and they have not asked me to pay for anything. Ever since I started using it, I have not had any difficulty.” “I have not paid for anything because I have my insurance card. The nurses are doing their best taking care of the patients. The only challenge we always see here is that there are too many attendants, hence the delay in the hospital,” Francis Nyameh said. Madam Emilia Kabu, a patient at the hospital, however, said “I have registered for the health insurance since 2009, but up to now I have not received my card”. The Free Maternal Policy was introduced into the Nation Health Insurance scheme to improve maternal health and reduce child mortality. The benefits include exemption from payment of the NHIS premium, exemption from payment of the registration fee, waiving of waiting period between registration and accessing of the services, free medical services and medicines during antenatal period, free medical services and medicines during delivery (including Caesarean delivery). Others are free medical services and care for the newly born baby on the mother’s ticket (as a member of NHIS) for 90 days after which baby must be registered, free medical services and medicines during postnatal period.