The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) Chief Executive, Dr. Bernard Okoe Boye embarked on a 10-day working visit to the northern belt of the country, starting on November 28, 2022.
He was accompanied by the NHIA Governing Board Chair, Dr. Ernest K. P Kwarko, some board members, executive management, and some senior staff.
Except for the Upper West Region, the high-powered delegation visited the Northern, North East, Savannah, and Upper East Regions.
As part of the Chief Executive’s decentralization agenda, the Governing Board members extended their sessions to the Northern Regional capital, Tamale.
The delegation paid courtesy calls on some revered chiefs including the Dagbon Overlord, Yaa-Naa Abukari Mahama Gariba II, Mamprugu Overlord, Naa Bohagu Abdulai Mahami Sheriga, Overlord of Gonjaland, Yagbonwura Tuntumba Boresa I, Paramount Chief of Paga traditional area, Pe Pwanalunga-Charles Awiah Awampaga II, Yoo-Naa Abdulai Yakubu Andani, Gukpegu Naa Abdulai Alhassan and Mion Regent, Alhassan Abdulai.
Dr. Bernard Okoe Boye at every stage reinforced areas of common good between the traditional leaders and the NHIA.
The NHIA Chief Executive, Dr. Okoe Boye earned two chieftaincy titles in Dagbon and Gonjaland traditional areas.
The Overlord of Dagbon, conferred on Dr. Okoe Boye, the title, ‘Alaafe Bonzali Naa I’ to wit health development chief, at a colourful durbar in Tamale.
Correspondingly, the Gonjaland Overlord, Yagbonwura, Tuntumba Boresa I bestowed on Dr. Okoe Boye, the chieftaincy title, ‘Alelawurpo I,’ implying that a person who does good things will never go unnoticed.”
The two investitures were in recognition of the NHIA Boss’ stellar performance upon assumption of office.
Regional Ministers Meeting
Dr. Okoe Boye met with Ministers of the Northern, North East, Upper East and Savannah regions at the various Regional Coordinating Councils.
Dr. Okoe Boye reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to actively engage all major stakeholders in ensuring that Ghanaians both home and abroad would be covered by the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
In recognition of Yaa-Naa’s active and personal interest in encouraging people to register for the NHIS, the Dagbon Overlord was designated as the NHIS-worthy brand Ambassador.
Ndan Yaa-Naa Abukari Mahama II blessed the NHIA leadership and assured Dr. Okoe Boye of the Dagbon traditional area’s staunch support of his administration and urged him to remain focused.
Nyab Gukpe Naa Abdulai Alhassan praised the NHIA leadership for the immense desire to ensure that all residents in Ghana and beyond would be insured.
Yoo Naa Abdulai Yakubu Andani condemned the routine practice of some healthcare service providers demanding monies (illegal fees) from active members of the NHIS at the point of need and concluded that the phenomenon was making the scheme unattractive to non-members.
The Mion Regent, Alhassan Abdulai called for permanent office accommodation for the NHIS district, more staff, and an operational vehicle.
The Northern Regional Minister, Mr. Shani Alhassan Shaibu attributed the NHIS achievements in the region to the effective collaboration between the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) and the NHIA regional secretariat.
North East Region
Overlord of the Mamprugu Traditional Area, Nayiri Mahami Abdulai Sheriga touted the NHIS as the surest means of accessing quality and affordable healthcare and thereby implored all residents in Ghana to enroll in the Scheme.
The Regional Minister, Hon. Zakaria Yidana advised the NHIA leadership to revoke the licenses of healthcare service providers charging NHIS members for services covered by the Scheme.
Upper East Region
At his palace, the paramount Chief of Paga traditional area, Pe Pwanalunga-Charles Awiah Awampaga II pledged to help the NHIA succeed in increasing the NHIS active membership and requested for an additional office in the Kassena-Nankana Municipality.
The Regional Minister, Hon. Stephen Yakubu applauded the bond between the NHIA Governing Board and executive management. He described as enormous the NHIA’s modern innovations such as the Mobile Renewal platform and the Ghana card and NHIS card linkage.
Overlord of Gonjaland, Yagbonwura Tuntumba Boresa I promised to bolster support for the NHIS to remain a shining model and a sustainable Scheme in Africa and beyond.
The Savannah Regional Minister, Mr. Saeed Muhazu Jibril admired Dr. Okoe Boye’s transformational leadership and encouraged him to consolidate his achievements.
Dr. Okoe Boye inaugurated three new NHIS district offices in Mion, Kumbungu and Nanton and further inspected ongoing projects at Nalerigu and Damongo.
The delegation visited some selected NHIS district and regional offices, as well as the Tamale Claims Processing Centre. In all the regions, leadership interacted with staff.
The delegation toured some tourists’ sites including the famous Paga Crocodile Pond in Upper East Region, the mysterious Mosque, and the mystic stone at Larabanga in the Savannah Region.
The NHIA Northern Belt football team and Tamale City FC closed-up in a ceremonial match at the Aliu Mahama Sports Stadium in Tamale, where the match ended 3-3.
Vice President, Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia at the University for Development Studies (UDS, Tamale Dungu campus officially unveiled the NHIA’s latest novelty dubbed, “My NHIS.”
It was in commemoration of the NHIS Active month celebration under the theme, “The role of Digitalization in Modern Healthcare Delivery: Recounting Ghana’s ICT journey in the 4th Republic.”
“We are pursuing digitalization not for its own sake, but as a means of delivering improved services to our people. We are putting in place systems and utilizing the data to make this possible. The role of digital health solutions in our healthcare sector cannot be overemphasized.”
NHIA Board Chair
The NHIA Board Chairman, Dr. Ernest K. P Kwarko attributed the NHIA’s modern innovations to government’s immense support and commended Vice President, Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia for being instrumental in the implementation of the Mobile Renewal Service, Electronic Claims management, biometric application and NHIS and Ghana cards linkage.
NHIA Chief Executive
Alaafee Bonzali Naa I, Dr. Bernard Okoe Boye saluted former President, John Agyekum Kufour for introducing the NHIS in 2003.
“19 years ago, under the visionary leadership of H.E John Agyekum Kufuor, Ghana set out on a mission to provide financial risk protection for its citizens and to reduce the dangers of resting access to healthcare on the shoulders of the cash and carry system. “This resulted in the birthing of the National Health Insurance Scheme which has since remained a cardinal instrument in the provision of comprehensive healthcare services to all residents of our dear nation Ghana.”
Dr. Bernard Okoe-Boye on June 13, 2022, commenced a nationwide working tour of the 16 regions.
The nationwide working tour was meant to interface with major stakeholders including traditional leaders, administrative heads, and staff of the NHIA.
Throughout the trips, the NHIA Boss reechoed his vision of transforming the NHIS anchored to digitization, dissemination, decentralization, development, and data.