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23.06.2004 General News

TUC still opposes use of part of SSNIT contribution for NHIS

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Ho, June 23, GNA - Mr Kwasi Adu-Amankwah, Secretary-General of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), on Tuesday said the Congress remained opposed to the use of the two and half percent of workers' SSNIT contributions to partly fund the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

He said the Congress was, however, adopting a tacit approach to get the hearing of government on the issue.

Mr Adu-Amankwah who was answering questions at a Delegates Conference of the Volta Regional Council of Labour in Ho said the TUC was in the process of designing a health insurance scheme for its members under the Private Mutual Category.

He said until the structures under the scheme including funding and range of care were established, the TUC would again seek audience with government on the issue and would want the deductions from SSNIT to be justified.

"Not that we don't want health insurance for ourselves and others but the SSNIT contributions should not be used just because of political expediency."

"Taking our money to do things for others when we ourselves are not satisfied with what that money is doing for us is not right," the Secretary-General stated.

He expressed regret that though Ghana's scheme, was self- contributory, the huge government public relations machinery had created the impression to many that it was free.

As a result the Secretary-General said many people were unaware of their financial obligations to the scheme and that contributions were to be continual.

Mr Adu-Amankwah expressed reservations about the ability of the District Assemblies to manage the scheme on a sustainable basis given their track record of handling sanitation, their special mandate. The two-day congress is expected to elect the Regional Women's Committee and Regional Council Executives.

It will also discuss proposals of amendments to the TUC Constitution and discuss the forthcoming quadrennial congress draft policy document among others.