The quest by the government of Ghana to make the Ghana card the sole source of identification for persons living in Ghana and for accessing public services has received a major boost following the completion of works to integrate the National Health Insurance card with the Ghana card.
By dialling the shortcode *929# and following the prompts, holders of the two cards can now link their National Health Insurance Cards to the Ghana Card and use the Ghana Card to access health care at any accredited National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) facility across the nation.
Dr Bawumia launched the latest of the government’s digitisation efforts on Monday, November 9, 2020, at the start of the NHIS Week Celebration in Accra.
“This marks the beginning of a new dawn in the National Health Insurance system. This innovation reaffirms the NPP’s Government’s commitment in our digital journey towards creating the needed ICT infrastructure comparable to any in the developed world,” Dr Bawumia stated.
The Vice-President explained that since coming into office in January 2017, the Akufo-Addo government signalled its aspirations to focus on leveraging technology to accelerate Ghana’s development, especially as the world experiences the fourth Industrial Revolution.
“Our rapid adoption of digital technologies has been driven not only by the imperatives of change in the global economy but also by the need to tackle our own local development challenges.
“Our overarching objectives in this digitisation agenda are to improve both economic and public sector governance, improve transparency and accountability, improve domestic revenue mobilisation, curb corruption and increase access to public services,” he emphasised.
The policy direction of the government is to increase technology deepening in addressing Ghana’s development problems as much as possible, Dr Bawumia indicated.
“The scope of digitisation in the health sector is enormous. It ranges from procurement to nationwide drugs inventory management system, patient record management, portability of patients’ records across the country, to health insurance management, and billing verification and payments across providers.
“What is key for us today is leveraging the Ghana card to transform our health system. This is a game-changer. All you need is the Ghana card, which has embedded in it all your important personal data. Linked to the Digital Address System and the Birth and Death Registry, we would have built the most comprehensive database of citizens as far as our health demographics are concerned.”
He continued, “With the agenda of Ghana card being the sole form of identification and access to social services, NHIA has taken the steps in making that happen by linking NHIS membership to the Ghana card. This fits very well into the inclusiveness agenda of the government to leave no one behind and the NHIS is on this path in its quest to provide affordable healthcare to all residents of Ghana.
“Today, as part of Government policy to make the Ghana Card the standard ID for all residents in Ghana, the NHIA is launching the next step in the digitisation journey – linkage of the Ghana Card with the NHIS card. After today, NHIS members can through their mobile phone using *929# will link their NHIS card to their Ghana card.
“They can then use the Ghana card to renew their NHIS membership through mobile money. They will also be able to use their Ghana Card to access health services at all accredited providers. This pilot is being launched today 9th November for the start of NHIS Week."
Dr Bawumia also announced that integration between the Ghana Card and the Tax Identification Numbers, SSNIT cards, Passport, DVLA, Bank Accounts and SIM cards will be launched in the early part of 2021 and together with the Universal QR Code for payments, will make Ghana a functional digital economy.
In a related development, the Management of the NHIS has announced that as part of the NHIS Week, the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has granted a waiver, for those who take advantage of the offer in this week, for the scrapping of the one month waiting period for delayed renewals and new registrations.
“We encourage all 23.1 million residents of Ghana who have registered to use this opportunity to renew their membership. For those who have a Ghana Card and NHIS card, please do the linkage and use your Ghana Card to access healthcare.”