Some users of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), have implored the government to make the waiver on the waiting period for renewed or newly registered health insurance cards a permanent policy.
Describing it as laudable, they said the one-week waiver which allows users to access health care immediately after registration or renewal of their health insurance cards was a great intervention and should therefore be left perpetually.
They argued that the gesture would not only save a lot of lives but some money as well.
Normally, aside children below five years and pregnant women, members of the Scheme have to wait for one month to have their cards activated for use after renewal or registration.
But, the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), as part of its weekly celebration and 17th anniversary, has waived the waiting period for people who register or renew their health insurance cards this week.
The waiver will make the card active immediately after renewal or registration.
The gesture by the Authority is targeted at improving universal health care in the country as it aims at shoring up its membership.
Some members of the NHIS, who had thronged the Authority’s Awutu-Senya-East District office in the Central Region on Wednesday, pleaded through the GNA for the policy to stay.
They lamented that the period was too short and that many people were not aware of it.
A merchant, Mr David Ofori Otabil, intimated that the intervention could be a lifesaver for a person in an emergency.
“We wish they can extend the waiver for some time so that everybody can access it. It’s a good policy and we thank them,” he said.
A businesswoman, Mrs Martha Ahiavor, who called for an intensified awareness creation on the gesture also indicated that the intervention will be very helpful if, one had to take her child to the hospital at dawn.
She said the period was too short and it should be made permanent.
A trader, Mr Paul Samuel, was of the view that the waiver was the most ideal thing to do, adding that “I’m very grateful for it and it is going help a lot of Ghanaians.”
“My wife and children are supposed to go to the hospital on Friday and without the waiver, we would have to wait for some days, or a month before we can make use of it, it would have been difficult for me,” he added.
Another businesswoman, Mrs Jane Paul, visibly elated, thanked the NHIA for the policy, given the benefit it provided.
“How I wish they can extend or in fact, leave it permanently. Leaving it permanently will be nice, it will help everyone than the old system,” she stressed.