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28.10.2005 Health

HelpAge Ghana calls for a review of NHIS

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Accra, Oct. 28, GNA - Mr Ebenezer Adjetey-Sorsey, Executive Director of HelpAge Ghana (HAG), on Friday called on the Government to review the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and to integrate all pensioners into the scheme to enable them to enjoy the services provided.

"What is happening now is discriminatory since only SSNIT pensioners are enjoying the services provided under the scheme although pensioners under CAP 30, who are not included in the scheme also provided equally good services for the advancement of the nation." Mr Adjetey-Sorsey was speaking at the end of a five-day para-legal and human rights training workshop for members of Age Care Organisations, subsidiaries of HelpAge Ghana, which was established in 1998 to promote the prospects of older people.

The workshop is to equip them with the necessary para-legal and human rights advocacy skills so as to intervene and advise appropriately whenever the rights of older persons are violated. He said it was necessary that the Government included all pensioners whether they were contributors to the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) pension scheme or the Ghana Government Pensioners (CAP 30).

Mr Adjetey-Sorsey said under the provisions of the NHIS, only pensioners in the informal sector, who have attained the age of 70 could benefit from the scheme adding: "What about the cocoa farmers, who have worked so hard to bring money to the country?"

He urged the Government to expedite action on the National Aging Policy, which would go a long way to enhance the well being of the aged. Mr Soung Jacob, Project Officer of HAG, said the 20 newly trained para-legals formed the second batch of trainees under the activities being implemented by HAG and sponsored by the Development Cooperation of Ireland and HelpAge International.

He urged the participants to take up the task of making life worthy for older people.

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