I woke up very early on the 15th of May, 2014, and made up my mind to go to the Cape Coast branch of the National Health Insurance office. I had heard a lot of stories about the huge crowd that gathers there every day just to register for their biometric cards. This will enable them to access health care in case they fell sick and had to go to the hospital or any NHIS accredited health facility. I got there thinking that i will just waltz my way through the process and leave as soon as possible.
I got there around 6:30 am and i was shocked to the marrow to see a huge crowd gathered there in a disorganized manner. I was made to know that the workers were not yet in until 8am. A woman i talked to told me she came to the NHIS office as early as 5am all because she wanted to quickly finish with the registration and go back home so as to go to work. No official came out to inform us of what to do, where to go and even give us some education on the registration process.
The officials came to work at exactly 8am and a list was immediately pasted on the glass door for those who came the previous day to check if they would be served. Unfortunately i was in the wrong queue and had to move to another place just to write my name and be given another date to come for my renewal. Why should our grandfathers, grandmothers, pregnant mothers and children come to the NHIS Office very early and spend the whole day just to register for the NHIS.?That is if you are fortunate to be served and not told to go and come back another day. This is just something brief, but i have some questions to ask the National Health Insurance Authority.
Why cant they create an online platform for people to register online and later go to the NHIS offices to pick up their cards?
In this day and age of modern technological inventions, why dont the outfit make use of the telcos to introduce a short code that will enable people to register using their mobile phones?
Why should schools send their students to the NHIS office for the registration exercise? Cant the authority set up mobile units and move from school to school just to register the students? Why cant there be NHIS offices in the various hospitals in the Central Region? The long and short of it is that, there should be an expansion program by the NHIS to cater for areas with large population. Otherwise this laudable program might metamorphose into what i will term as “National Death Assurance” and not National Health Insurance. These are just my observations from the Cape Coast Office of the National Health Insurance Scheme.