Volta Region NHIA Introduces Biometric Registration

The Volta Regional Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Mr. Charles Agbesi, says the National Health Insurance Scheme would be introducing the biometric registration policy in the region effective October, 2014. He has urged the people in the region to cooperate with the Scheme managers in their respective areas in order to ensure success. As a result, the Regional PRO disclosed that the NHIS had already organized what he described as kick-off meeting with staff at all the 16 District offices of the Scheme in the region to educate them on the roll-out plan of the policy. He noted that the NHIA in the region would further provide training to equip them with the requisite skills that would enable them to carry out the biometric registration successfully. These were made known in a press statement signed and issued to the media by the Volta Regional PRO of the NHIA in Ho, stressed that biometric registration equipment installation was currently ongoing in all the districts to ensure smooth roll-out of the NHIS biometric registration in the region. Mr. Agbesi pointed out that so far, the NHIS biometric registration has been successfully implemented in the Greater Accra, Central, Eastern and the Ashanti regions while the Upper East, Upper West and the Volta regions are the next to experience the NHIS biometric registration exercise and called for support to help derive the maximum benefit. He noted that the NHIS biometric membership policy would enhance data integrity of the NHIS membership system and help genuine subscribers of the NHIS health provider sites which would be opened in all the districts offices in October 2014 and mobile registration teams would equally operate in communities in the districts to ensure effective biometric registration exercise in the region. The Regional PRO explained that no existing NHIS subscriber would pay any additional fees to be registered under the biometric registration exercise except those whose memberships expired and that only people who never registered before would pay what he called the usual premium and processing fees to get registered and be issued with their cards instantly adding that such people would however wait for a period of one month to access health care. Mr. Agbesi further explained that the NHIS biometric registration has no deadline hence there was no need for people to rush to registration centers and advised that only people whose cards were near expiry dates less than one month or first time subscribers should visit the registration centers to be registered because the current NHIS cards were still valid and would be accepted at service provider points until every subscriber was issued with NHIS biometric cards. He continued that people who intended to register under the biometric registration should take along their phone numbers, emergency contact details and Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) numbers if any in order to promote effective biometric registration exercise. Mr. Agbesi disclosed that the NHIA in the region had put in place measures to avoid congestion at the registration centers such as staff of the Scheme working for long hours between 6am and 9pm as well as some of the Scheme personnel would be made to work during the weekends meant for particular people like pregnant women, children and the aged to receive special attention.