The Impact of the National Health Insurance Scheme on the Lives of Persons with Disabilities in Kumasi Metropolis, Ghana

Henry Abuaku Howard

Abstract


Purpose:  In Ghana, the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) is one of the government’s social protection measures to provide healthcare for its citizens. Persons with disabilities and their families, though worthy recipients of such services, are more likely to face challenges in accessing healthcare through the NHIS due to social discrimination. The objective of the study was to evaluate the impact of the National Health Insurance Scheme on the lives of persons with disabilities in the Kumasi Metropolis.

Method:  A qualitative study was carried out. Purposive sampling was used to select persons with disabilities and NHIA staff as participants. Structured interviews and focus group discussions were employed to collect data from them.

Results: Unemployment among persons with disabilities was the major economic factor that influenced access to health insurance and healthcare. Most of the mobility impaired and visually impaired persons were inconvenienced by inaccessible routes to NHIA offices.  For the hearing impaired, communication was a major problem since the NHIA staff were unable to understand sign language.

Conclusion and Implications: NHIS has been instrumental in providing healthcare for persons with disabilities, and stakeholders must encourage persons with disabilities to register for NHIS. Their unemployment issues should be addressed by aiding their economic ventures. Access routes to NHIA offices must also be made disability-friendly.

Keywords


Disability; national health insurance scheme; national health insurance authority

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5463/dcid.v29i3.758



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