Gov't to register LEAP beneficiaries onto NHIS
Aug 11, 2016 at 6:52pm
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Government has disclosed its readiness to register all beneficiaries of the Livelihood and Empowerment against Poverty (LEAP) onto the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). The exercise which is expected to cost some four million Ghana Cedis (GHC4 million) will see an estimated number of 214,067 LEAP beneficiaries nationwide access free healthcare.
The exercise which is a partnership agreement between the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection and the National Health Insurance Authority was launched at a ceremony in Madina, a suburb of Accra.
In her speech, the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur indicated that currently 4,803 LEAP beneficiaries have already been registered and are benefiting from the NHIS, adding that the exercise forms part of government’s intervention to remove financial barriers preventing access to quality health services and protecting poor people from the impoverishing effects of medical expenditures.
“Enrolling beneficiaries of LEAP onto the NHIS comes with many benefits. As a government we are happy that more poor and vulnerable people will get access to quality healthcare. This we believe will relieve them of the cost of health care and enable them to focus on being more productive. It will also enhance the employability of poor people and increase their earning capacities. They will not be left at the mercy of a cash and carry system of healthcare,” the sector Minister stressed.
Mrs. Lithur was hopeful that as government implements more interventions to change lives and transform Ghana, poverty will be reduced.
On his part, the Chief Executive Officer at the NHIA, Nathaniel Otoo noted that the NHIA through inter-agency partnerships enrolled 1.2 million people onto the scheme, which includes the aged, school children on School Feeding Program, prisoners, head porters and many others.
He also seized the moment to debunk claims that the scheme isn’t working. He said despite challenges in the swift provision of the NHIS card to the beneficiaries at their various offices, much efforts have been made to ensure that the scheme improves its service delivery as the 13-year old scheme is undergoing its first ever comprehensive review.
In March, the exercise was piloted in the Shai Osudoku and Ada West districts in the Greater Accra Region to test for its feasibility.
8 years ago, the Government of Ghana initiated the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) Programme which is Ghana’s flagship Social Protection Programme.
The objectives of the Porgramme are in line with achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 1, 3 and 4 which focus on ending poverty in all forms, ensuring healthy lives and promoting the well-being of all persons, ensuring inclusive and equitable education and promoting life-long learning opportunities for all.
The programme targets Orphans and vulnerable children, elderly persons (65 years and above), persons with severe disabilities, extremely poor pregnant women and children under two years old from extremely poor households.
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