The Ghana National Gas Company has embarked on a two-month free registration exercise to enrol 10,000 people in the catchment communities of Ghana Gas Processing Plant onto the National Health Insurance Scheme.
Speaking to Citi News during the launch of the free Ghana Gas NHIS registration exercise at Atuabo, the Community Relations and Corporate Social Responsibility Affairs Manager of Ghana Gas, Stephen Donkoh, said the free registration is to support residents from 7 MMDAs in the Western Region to have easy access to quality healthcare.
“The rationale behind this exercise is to cushion the indigenes of our project-affected communities. There are a few cases that some beneficiary communities had nothing to do with the operations of Ghana Gas, but we are thinking that if we can assist people in those communities, it will go a long way to help. With this current dispensation, everybody is thinking about what to eat, what about our health in case there should be any emergency? We’ve seen people go to the hospital and even how to pay their bills becomes an issue. So as an organization, we decided to intervene in other to cushion people in the area of health”, he explained.
Stephen Donkoh while highlighting the reach of the project beneficiaries also justified the need to embark on such community support.
“It’s not the whole Western Region who are benefiting, but we have about 50 communities who have been given quota based on the population of the communities. In fact, just three days that we started the registration, we realized that our 10,000 target is not enough, so we are thinking that maybe next year we are going to increase the figure to about 20,000 so that we can capture a lot of people in that project-affected communities,” he added.
The Western Regional Director of the National Health Insurance Scheme, Emmanuel Raphel Okyere, who graced the project launch, while commending Ghana Gas for the enrolment support, encouraged the public to register since the NHIS is the sure bet to easy access to healthcare care in Ghana.
“It is better to have the health insurance card than having nothing at all, because, in case of emergency, it is the card that will save you. The health insurance card is your guaranteed access to health care. That is why every Ghanaian should have the health insurance card. The health facilities operate based on levels, so when you go to a lower level, they will tell you that the health insurance does not cover the service you want. It doesn’t mean it does not cover, the truth is that at that level they can’t offer it, so they have to refer you to a higher level where you can access that same care under health insurance. So those are some of the challenges,“ he said.
The Paramount Chief of Atuabo, Awulae Amihere Panyile on behalf of the beneficiary communities thanked Ghana Gas for placing a premium on the health of its catchment communities.
The Ghana Gas free NHIS region which is expected to end 15th December 2022 will benefit 10,000 residents of Jomoro, Ellembelle, Sekondi-Takoradi, Prestea-Huni- Valley, Shama, Ahanta West, Mpohor Wassa East District Assemblies.