Minister calls for review of NHIS to benefit retirees

Mr. Haruna Iddrisu (left), being seeing off by Dr. Yaw Baah Deputy Secretary General, TUC after opening the conference.The Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Haruna Iddrisu, has advocated the immediate review of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to benefit workers immediately they retire from active service.

According to him, pensioners whose hard earnings were used in running the fund should be given the opportunity to access the scheme immediately they go on pension and not to wait at the age of 70 years as entrenched in the clause that established the NHIS.

“Because the law has established the retirement age at 60 years, I believe that pensioners who have contributed to the scheme for many years, should be given the opportunity to benefit from the package as soon as they retired,” he said.

Speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the Union of Informal Workers Association (UNIWA) yesterday in Accra, Mr. Iddrisu said this would encourage retirees not to feel discouraged when contributing towards the sustainance of the scheme.

He noted that although government was taking steps to ensure that all ailments were covered by the NHIS, there is also the need to ensure that pensioners received what was due them, especially from the NHIS.

Mr. Iddrisu further advocated a health support fund for those in the informal sector to enable them access free healthcare when they are old.

The Deputy General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Dr Yaw Baah, urged the union to be united and influence policies that concern them, noting that the TUC would partner them in developing the skills of their members.

The Resident Director of Friedrich-Elbert-Stiftung, the institution that established UNIWA, Mrs. Daniela Kuzu, said her outfit would also develop programmes and policies for the union and thanked the executive of the TUC for assisting them to form UNIWA.

By Bernard Benghan & Joy Addae-Madzi

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