In spite of the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses, the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) in the Ashanti Region made a significant jump in its 2020 target, ending the year with an active membership of 2,902,306 from a benchmark of 2,725,177.
It represents 107 per cent of the 2020 target and 130 per cent of the 2019 membership achievement figure.
The Regional Director of the NHIA, Mr Kwadwo Tweneboa-Kodua, announced at the 2020 year review in Kumasi last Tuesday that part of the reason for the success could be attributed to the digitisation of the processes leading to the development of the NHIS Mobile Renewal Service.
The service which allowed people to renew their membership by using the hash tag, *929#, instead of walking to the offices due to the COVID-19 was subscribed to by the people from the region, increasing the figures dramatically.
Beyond the mobile service, the NHIA also introduced the online application/renewal of the Health Facilities Credentialing process and electronic claims submission platforms for convenience and effectiveness.
"The NHIA has achieved a lot and continues to advance its cause in pursuit of the government's goal of achieving universal health coverage by 2030.
"For this to materialise, it requires the concerted effort of all stakeholders," Mr Tweneboa-Kodua said.
The regional director urged the staff to discharge their duties diligently to ensure that it stayed on course towards achieving the set target for universal health coverage.
He told stakeholders that the authority had paid all claims up to September 2020, saying that against the backdrop that it took three months for claims to be submitted and same for processing, "I can say that technically, the authority owes them just one month, which is commendable."
Mr Tweneboa-Kodua said for now though, the achievement for 2020 would remain as the target for 2021 until a new one was set.
About 50 representatives from the districts and the region are assessing their performances and challenging themselves for higher heights.
Ghana was the first sub-Saharan African country to introduce NHIS in 2003 through an Act of Parliament (Act 650, Amended Act 852) and full implementation started in 2004.
Under the NHIS amended Act 852 (2012), every Ghanaian is required to enrol onto a health insurance scheme.
It has significantly contributed to improved health services utilisation and health outcomes.
The authority has a total of 166 district offices with five registration centres which report to the membership and regional operations directorate.
The Ashanti Region is said to have recorded the highest active membership followed by the Greater Accra Region.