Some Senior High Schools in the Upper East Region are turning away qualified students because they do not have National Health Insurance cards.
Some of the schools include Saint John’s Integrated, Zemsi and Navrongo Senior High School.
According to some of the anxious students, the situation has forced them to sometimes sleep at the Bolgatanga Municipal Health Insurance office to obtain the cards.
Some of them who spoke to Citi News say the registration process is getting very tedious by the day.
According to them, it takes more than two to three days to acquire the card. They have thus appealed to authorities to put in place measures to fast track the process.
A student lamenting to Citi News said “I came here on November 2, till date I haven’t had a card yet.”
Some of them alleged that persons with cars and motorbikes are usually given preferential treatment.
“When they come, they just direct them straight and facilitate the process for them, but those of us here join a long queue. We are appealing that students should be considered because when we go to school, they will sack us and such things will affect our education” a female student lamented.
Another student said “I came here yesterday [Wednesday], but couldn’t get the card. Today [Thursday] I came earlier but I’m still not sure whether I will get my card .”
“I came here very early at dawn, collected my form and joined the queue; but till now, I’ve not yet had my card. I’m not sure I will get it today” said another student.
In an interview with Citi News, the NHIS Manager for the Bolgatanga Municipality, Mr. Ayinne Roland, advised residents to take advantage of their 24-hour services to avoid the struggle.
“We haven’t made any arrangement for students. We are running a shift system. Those who say they have been here for three consecutive days are those who usually not patient enough to wait for the night shift. They take their forms to the house, come back the following day and repeat the same thing. Definitely, you will be counting days but those who are normally patient enough to wait throughout, they go home with their ID cards.”
Meanwhile the Ghana Education Service (GES) has condemned the practice of sending students back home because of NHIS cards.
According to the Public Relations Officer of GES, Rev. Jonathan Bettey, although the NHIS card is a requirement for every SHS student, students ought not to be sent back home for not having it.
He says the schools are to put in place proper arrangements to enable the students acquire the card without the process affecting their education or academic work.