Following an ambitious target of achieving 20 million active members by the close of the year 2023, the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), 20th Anniversary celebration has been officially launched at the La Palm-Royal Beach Hotel in Accra.
Unveiled on October 25, 2023, the year-long nationwide celebration is under the theme, “Health Heroes:20 years strong,” and this is to serve as a reflection of the NHIS significant contribution to providing financial risks protection against the high costs of healthcare services to all residents in Ghana.
A series of activities lined up for the celebration are a blood donation exercise nationwide, MyNHIS APP Storm in regional capitals, NHIS Data Day, a Symposium on identified topical diseases, the inauguration of the upgraded Takpo Health Center into an ultra-modern Polyclinic in the Upper West Region, Legends unveiled: Honoring our Heroes event, Awards Night, and a Gospel Rock show.
Past Chief Executives
At 20, the NHIS can so far boast of eight (8) Chief Executives. They are Dr. Samuel Akor, Honorable Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, Mr. Ras Boateng, Mr. Sylvester Mensah, Mr. Nathaniel Otoo, Dr. Samuel Yaw Annor, Dr. Lydia Dsane-Selby and the incumbent Dr. Bernard Okoe-Boye.
In a brief speech, the Deputy Health Minister, who doubles as the Member of Parliament for Daboya/Mankarigu constituency in the Savannah Region, Alhaji Mahama Asei Seini applauded the NHIS monumental achievements and unwavering commitment to progress.
He urged management and staff to remain steadfast and ensure that no one in Ghana is left behind in having access to affordable and quality healthcare services.
NHIA Board Chair
The NHIA Governing Board Chairman, Dr. Ernest K. P Kwarko in his welcome address posited that the NHIS represented extraordinary achievements in Ghana’s health financing history.
He mentioned improved Claims payments, increased credentialed healthcare facilities and taking care of the health needs of all residents of Ghana as some of the success stories.
He sounded unequivocally that the Governing Board and executive management remained committed to eliminating what he described as the “Dreaded Co-payments syndrome.”
Dr. Ernest Kwarko commended NHIS management and staff for their dedicated service and forward march to Achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by the year 2030.
The NHIA Chief Executive, Dr. Bernard Okoe-Boye recapped the NHIS achievements over the past two decades, emphasizing the role it continuous to play in Ghanas healthcare financing.
He paid tribute to former President John Agyekum Kufours led New Patriotic Party (NPP) governments far-reaching thought which birthed the NHIS in the year 2003.
He said over the years, the NHIS had committed to providing affordable and quality healthcare to its members and added that management was determined to keep moving in the right direction.
According to Dr. Okoe Boye, the NHIS has been a training ground for sister nations in the Subregion and still attracts foreign delegations visits to the NHIA, Head Office, on study tours.
He touted Ghana and Rwanda as the two outstanding African nations whose health insurance covers more than half of the national populations.
Anniversary Planning Committee Chair
The Anniversary Planning Committee Chair, NHIA Deputy Chief Executive responsible for Administration/Human Resources, Dr. Yaa Pokuaa Baiden (Mrs.) called for a renewed vigor and passion among staff to deliver their mandate in ensuring that healthcare is a fundamental right for all residents of Ghana.
“Healthcare knows no boundaries. Let us reaffirm our commitment to the NHIS and together we shall safeguard the valuable health and wellbeing of all.”
She spelt out a comprehensive program for the nationwide celebrations and urged staff to go the extra mileage and increase the NHIS active membership.
There were solidarity messages from development partners, especially the Christian Health Association, Ghana (CHAG).
During the period, there will blood donation exercises across the country to help stock the National Blood Bank, as a means of saving lives. This forms part of the NHIS Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
Through an event dubbed “MYNHIS APP Storm,” nationwide, there will be a conscious effort to promote the latest electronic platform known as MyNHIS. The goal is to assist the public in understanding how to download and use the platform for enrollment and membership renewal.
In collaboration with PharmAccess Ghana, a “Data day” is set aside to celebrate the importance of leveraging technology and data in ensuring positive health outcomes. This will highlight the importance of NHIS Staff evidence-based document submitted for decision-making in healthcare delivery.
There will be a Symposium” that will convene key stakeholders, such as private health insurance organizations, pharmaceutical companies, the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana, and the Ghana Medical Association to deliberate on topical diseases and issues that impose a substantial cost burden on the NHIS.
The NHIA with the support of government and other major stakeholders in the health ecosystem upgraded the “Takpo Health Centre into an ultra-modern Poly Clinic” in the Nadowli constituency of the Upper West Region. The project will be inaugurated during the Anniversary celebration.
Another pillar of the celebration is to pay tribute to past distinguished Ghanaian personalities at an event called “Legends: Honoring Our Icons.” By this arrangement, images and significant statements of past Presidents of Ghana, NHIA former Chief Executives and former Directors will be displayed at vantage points of the various Directorates.
The year-long celebrations will be climaxed by an “Awards Night and Gospel Rock Show,” which is designed to reward dedicated and hard working NHIS staff who have served for almost 20 years.
The Gospel Rock Show is to honor God for the many blessings he has bestowed on the NHIS, especially its sustainability.
The 20th Anniversary celebration is grounded in the strategic direction of the current NHIA transformational leadership, known as the “5Ds”-, anchored on Digitization, Data, Dissemination, Decentralization, and Development.
These pillars underscore the NHIS’s significance in Ghana’s healthcare landscape and set the course for its future development.