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Enhanced Medical Care For The Aged   
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At a lunch with senior citizens in Accra on Wednesday July 1, to commemorate Republic Day, Vice President John Mahama announced a comprehensive medical support programme for the elderly as society’s contribution to their services to the country.

He acknowledged that even though the elderly enjoy some aspects of free medical care, “government intends to review the current arrangements and ensure the provision of a comprehensive one.”

To this end, Mr. Mahama said the government would encourage and support middle level health personnel to study geriatrics, and resource the various health facilities at all levels for its practitioners. Geriatric is the branch of medicine concerned with diseases and care of old people. He observed that while the country had a relatively youthful population, the number of persons reaching retirement and entering the ranks of the elderly was much bigger than the country had ever had before.

“As the phenomenon has implications for social security and geriatric care, government, through pension reform, is committed to ensuring that the citizenry live a dignified life even in retirement,” he stressed. Vice-President Mahama lamented that the traditional safety nets or indigenous insurance premium in which the younger generation took care of the old, was no longer working effectively, noting, “our extended family structures have broken down due to the exigencies of modern economic demands.”

He said it was however, important for the nation to ensure that the core values of family systems which distinguish Ghanaians from other people is sustained. The Vice-President underscored the importance for the nation to move away from the practice of honoring its heroes and heroines posthumously, saying, most of the elderly citizens had been a source of inspiration to the present generation.

He said: “Our senior citizens through their vision, foresight, dedication and commitment to nation building have by their work made all of us proud as Ghanaians,” and emphasized that the country would continue to count on their experience, wisdom and good counsel in managing the affairs of the state. Recounting preparations being made for the centenary celebration of the birth of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first President, Mr. Mahama said the government was committed to ensuring that the celebration recognized the Osagyefo’s standing in the country’s history and the great esteem in which he was held world-wide.

In his remarks, the Reverend Dr. N. T. Clarke, formerly of the Public Services Commission, thanked the government for hosting them to a banquet. “It gives us the assurance that we are not relegated to the historical dustbin.” He also expressed appreciation to the government for its intention to improve the quality of services for geriatric care. Rev. Clarke, however, expressed concern about the way almost every action of government was being criticized and stressed the need for objectivity in every aspect of national life to enable the country to progress.
Source: Ghanaian Times

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