About 60% of pensioners in the country live on a pay of Gh?200 per month, the equivalent of $62.31. As a result, many of them are not able to feed themselves more than once a day.
According to the Executive Director of Help Age Ghana, Ebenezer Adjetey-Sorsey, the situation is worse when it comes to persons who retire without any pensions.
Speaking on the Super Morning Show on Joy FM, Monday October 27, 2014 Mr. Adjetey-Sorsey noted that the major challenge facing pensioners in the country is income security, which should be blamed on the state for reneging on its moral duty of caring for the aged.
“The issue is not about anybody shortchanging them in terms of the calculation. The issue has to do with the constitutional provision Article 37(b)…to ensure that they live a comfortable life,” he told Kojo Yankson, host of the Show.
He added: “The system is that pension in Ghana is not keeping pace with our economic situation. The minimum pension being paid this year is about 200 Ghana [cedis] and over 60% of pensioners fall within this bracket”.
This means many pensioners lower than 70 years cannot afford to cater for their healthcare needs as they do not qualify for free healthcare under the National Health Insurance Scheme which exempts senior citizens, 70 years and above, from paying premiums.
“We have a lot of them engaging in drug abuse…some of them are being injected from their rooms,” he lamented.
General Secretary of the National Pensioners Association, Edward Ameyibor says, “pensioners are really having a hard time with the current situation.”
“Everybody thinks [because] they are old men they will die very soon, but if you look at the demography, we are growing stronger and living longer.”
Mr. Ameyibor said many efforts by the Association to get the state to address their concerns have fallen on deaf ears, forcing them to institute the Pensioners’ Medical Scheme which will be launched in February, 2015, to cater for their healthcare needs.
“We have talked to so many people and all that we receive is sympathy and not action so we thought that we should help ourselves, and that is what we are doing.”
source : myjoyonline.com