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12.10.2003 Regional News

GNAT NHIS

By GNA
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Koforidua, Oct. 12, GNA - The Eastern Regional Secretary of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), Mr Kofi Aduamuah Simpson, has called on the government to ponder over the issues raised by organised labour and other parties on the National Health Insurance (NHIS) Act and incorporate them in the Legislative Instrument (L.I.). He suggested that, the government should not restrict Ghanaians in the choice of schemes but should rather encourage communities and companies to establish their schemes to satisfy their peculiar needs. Mr Simpson who made the call at a teachers forum at Koforidua on Friday as part of activities marking this year's World Teachers Day, urged the government to consider making funding available from the Consolidated Fund as seed money for the establishment of the National Health Insurance Fund.

He also urged government to release the budgetary allocation for refund of medical expenses of teachers to GNAT to use as seed money for the establishment of its scheme.

Mr Simpson explained that, organised labour was not against the NHIS but is worried about uncertainties with regard to its implementation.

He said government guarantee of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) Pension scheme in case of problems in lieu of the use of the 2.5 per cent from the fund for the NHIS was not convincing since government had failed to honour similar statutory obligations under the District Assemblies Common Fund, GETFund and the promise to absorb 30 per cent of boarding fees of SSS students.

Mr. Simpson said SSNIT had proved to be very inefficient in the management of a number of projects like the students loan scheme, their investment in SSB Bank and the worker's housing scheme, which raises a lot of concern with regard to the management of workers pension.

Mr. Solomon Djaba-Mensah, Regional Chairman of GNAT, called on teachers to support the establishment of the Teacher's Health Insurance Scheme under the auspices of the Ghana Education Service and GNAT since the NHIS would not cater for all ailments and hospital bills.

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