Pensioners seek alternative healthcare system

Ghanaian pensioners are exploring alternative healthcare intervention because they have lost confidence in the National Health Insurance Scheme.

The senior citizens complain about what they describe as persistent frustration in the hands of health service providers under the national healthcare policy.

The National Pensioners Association says it is partnering Liberty Mutual Health, a private health insurance provider to address concerns of members.

Maltreatment, disrespect and verbal as well as psychological assaults from health workers sum up the worry of these aged persons in the course of seeking healthcare.

Pensioners sometimes die of sickness health officials believe could be avoided if they received proper care.

This has prompted the need to look beyond the public system to guarantee good quality healthcare for people who have served the country in various capacities.

Under the new scheme with a private insurer, cost of surgery, laboratory investigations and ailments which are not covered by the NHIS will be catered for.

Members will pay 4 Ghana Cedis monthly as a contribution to the scheme.

General Secretary of the National Pensioners Association, Edward Ameyibor, believes the scheme should provide a respite for members.

“Anytime we meet, we announce the death of a long list of our members. When you ask what killed the person, it is mostly simple illness like strangulation etc.

“National Health Insurance is unable to take care of all our needs, it is more youth oriented than old age oriented. So we decided to institute this scheme, he stated.

Over 55 pensioners nationwide will be registered under the scheme which comes into effect in February, next year, after on-going piloting in Northern Ghana.

Officials are currently collating data from 16,000 members in the Ashanti Region.

Business Development Manager at Liberty Mutual Health, Franklin Gonweh is confident the scheme will compliment health provision under the NHIS.

Prince Appiah

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