By Mustapha Ceesay
The Gambia has introduced a National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) that would be implemented by the Ministry of Health through the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) to ensure people get quality healthcare services when the need arises.
Ahead of the ongoing mass registration of people into the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS),the Ministry of Health informed the public that it has registered His Excellency President Adama Barrow and his Family into NHIS on 3rd August 2022.
The mass registration in the Greater Banjul Area commenced 2nd August 2022, and would gradually roll out to the rest of the country as highlighted in the schedule and the masses are urged to get ready to get the National Health Insurance Card free of charge.
An updated schedule later shared by the Ministry of Health on 5th August 2022 for the mass registration for the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS)said registration started on 2nd August in the Greater Banjul Area.
National Health Insurance card
There are relevant documents required for one to acquire the National Health Insurance card. They are one or more of the following Gambian documents mentioned in the guidance notepublished by the Ministry on 12th August 2022 indicated.
· Birth certificate
· Valid National identity card
· Resident permit
· Antenatal card for new-born
· Infant welfare card (IWC)
· Alkalo attestation (endorsed by district chief executive or mayor)
The guidance note further stated that except the birth certificate, bearers of the above documents would have to provide one of the following supporting document from one or both parents:
• Birth Certificate,
• National Identity Card
• Infant Welfare Card
• Death certificate
It continued that all persons aged 50 years, and above seeking registration would only require any of the “applicant documents” without supporting documents.
Who should be registered?
Aside from Gambian nationals, the guidance notestated that an individual (a non-Gambian) who lives in The Gambia legally for six months or more in any period of twelve months could register for the National Health Insurance Scheme.
To get the National Health Insurance scheme, the public is urged to report to the nearest registration centre as indicated in the schedule.
Revisited schedule 1-14]
The National Health Insurance card is free of charge; and the Minister of Health, Dr. Ahmadou Lamin Samateh informed that the government would be the main contributor for the insurance scheme.
The Gambia on 31st July announced that with funding from the World Bank, it would commence a National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) membership registration and Civil Registration and Vital Statistic (CRVS).
The announcement stated that the registration is meant to achieve universal coverage of Health Insurance enrolment for all citizens and residents in The Gambia.
The modality of payment for the National Health Insurance Scheme is yet to be determined, said the Births and Deaths Registry Unit at the Ministry of Health.