Dr. Isaac Selase Alormele, Managing Director of Eyeroom Optical Center, Zimbabwe has called on Ghana Trade Union Congress (TUC) and other labour unions to fight for the adoption of a mandatory workers’ annual medical screening policy.
Dr. Alormele explained that the medical screening policy should make it mandatory for an annual staff health screening to help safeguard the health of workers who often do not get time from their busy schedules to seek medical care while in active service
He said labour unions must not only agitate for pay increments but must push employers to capture into Collective Bargaining Agreement provisions for staff medical screening policy the cost of which the institution must take care off.
Dr. Alormele stated at the Ghana News Agency Tema Regional Office and Ghana Optometric Association “GNA-GOA My Eyes! My Vision! campaign platform in Tema, which was monitored by the Communication for Development and Advocacy Consult (CDA Consult) in Tema.
The fortnight initiative is a collaborative public education advocacy campaign to promote the need for people to access eye care and also to draw attention to vision health.
The GNA-GOA: My Eyes! My Vision! The initiative also seeks to challenge the public and policymakers to focus on vision as a health issue, which forms a critical component of mankind’s well-being but is often neglected.
Dr. Alormele called for reforms to ensure that staff health needs are captured in any negotiations between employers and employees.
He charged corporate entities and employers to classify annual staff health screening as part of medical screening policy as a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
He added that CSR activities must start from within the companies instead of always concentrating on others.
He indicated that companies in Zimbabwe were mandated to provide their workers with health screening and this is religiously done mostly in October every year, saying companies must emulate such good policies.
Dr. Alormele said during such screening, different health professionals were put together to do a thorough check on the workers, adding that such checks would enable early detection of sicknesses, and referral for medical care when needed.
He further said apart from securing the health of workers, it would also benefit the companies as they would have healthy people who would drive productivity, as well as be legally protected from being liable for the health conditions of workers.
He advised the public to take their health screening very seriously saying eye screening, for instance, must be done at least at 18-month intervals to help detect any defects and other sicknesses early.
Dr. Kwame Oben-Nyarko, GOA Public Relations Officer, on his part reiterated the need for regular eye checks noting that the eye was a major tool for diagnoses.
He said most diagnoses were picked up from eye screening and referrals made.
Dr. Oben-Nyarko who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Third Eye and Vision Center who spoke on Computer Vision Syndrome added that signs of sicknesses including diabetes, HIV, liver problems, infections, and anemia among others could be diagnosed from the eyes.
Mr. Francis Ameyibor, Ghana News Agency Tema Regional Manager emphasized that the health of workers has a comparative influence on productive and expensive medical bills.
He stressed, “your medical bill should tell you the health status of your staff, it is, therefore, paramount for employers to consider the annual mandatory health screening exercise paid for by the employer”.
Mr. Ameyibor also stressed the need for good healthcare communication to ensure that both patients and healthcare providers interact with the intention to understand each other.
Meanwhile, Mr. Abraham Koomson, General Secretary of the Ghana Federation of Labour (GFL) supported the mandatory annual workers’ health screening policy.
He said years back, most corporate bodies had medical policies which ensure that staff undergo periodic health screening but in recent years that has been crashed to the disadvantage of the worker.
-CDA Consult II Contributor