06.04.2005 Business & Finance

KATH sets up provident fund

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Kumasi, April 6, GNA - The Board of Directors of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) has approved the establishment of a provident fund to provide a more befitting and dignified pensions for its loyal staff.

The institution of the fund was motivated by the hospital's desire to reverse the state of penury into which most members of staff retire due to inadequate retirement package from the Social Security and National Insurance Trust pension scheme.

Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare, Chief Executive of KATH, who announced this at a staff durbar held in Kumasi on Tuesday, expressed the hope that the fund would provide a more secure future for its staff and thus motivate them to stay with the hospital.

"The fund will ensure that members of staff retire in dignity and comfort, a development which will motivate them to stay and work instead of travelling abroad", the Chief Executive noted. The new scheme is scheduled to take off this month and Databank Limited has been selected as the fund managers with Barclays Bank as the custodian bank.

Dr Nsiah-Asare said it was part of a comprehensive welfare package including vehicle and housing schemes being introduced by the hospital to respond to the needs of its staff.

He asked staff of the hospital to take advantage of the open-door policy of the management and seek clarifications on issues they do not understand to ensure harmonious working relations.

Outlining the modalities for the management of the fund, Mr J.B. Miah, Director of Finance of the hospital, said members of staff who wish to benefit from it would be expected to contribute five per cent of their basic salary to it every month.

He said to make it more flexible contributors could withdraw up to 50 per cent of their total contributions every three years to undertake vital projects of their choice.

"The basic aim for the establishment of the fund is to provide long-term financial security for contributors and deepen staff loyalty and commitment to the hospital in the face of mass exodus of health professionals abroad, Mr Miah added.

A committee comprising representatives of all categories of workers of the hospital is being formed to supervise its management. Mr I. Offeh-Gyimah, Director of Administration of the hospital, said subscribers to the fund could have their contributions used as collateral for the cost of houses that management was negotiating with investors to construct on the 500 plots acquired by the hospital for members of staff on hire purchase.

During an open forum, members of staff lauded the idea and gave the management the go ahead to conclude all preparatory works on its establishment to pave way for its immediate take off.

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