The Health Service Workers Union (HSWU) of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) in collaboration with LO-FTF (Trade Unions in Denmark) is training selected members of the TUC on eldercare to improve upon the eldercare arrangement in Ghana.
The participants drawn from the various unions of the TUC are being train as trainers to partner civil society, government and its agencies to implement the national ageing policy to define a better welfare for the care of the aged and elderly.
Addressing the opening of the 5-day training programme in Koforidua, Mr Reynolds Tenkorang, General Secretary of the HSWU, said eldercare remained a challenge in Ghana and so the collaboration with the LO-FTF was to improve upon that area.
The Eldercare project is being funded wholly by the Danish Trade and Labour Unions, that represents approximately 200,000 members, comprising occupational groups that work in the areas of social and healthcare, nursing and care centres in people’s homes, daycares and disabled institutions within the public sector in Denmark.
The General Secretary said Denmark had a model welfare and eldercare plan and so the HSWU approached the Denmark to share that experience as well as build the capacity of the HSWU to lead in the crusade for a better and sustainable eldercare in Ghana.
According to Mr Tenkorang, the HSWU established a welfare scheme for its teeming members who exited from employment and the Union in 2010, to reduce the unbearable cost of medical treatment of some diseases and to ensure that the aged lived dignified life until death.
He observed that national policies on education, health and nutrition disfavoured the elderly, adding that for instance the National Health Insurance Scheme supposed to cover all citizens, unfortunately did not cover all the diseases associated with the elderly.
He said the welfare scheme and the Denmark Trade Union collaboration for the eldercare were interventions by the HSWU to address the plight of the aged by improving the conditions of eldercare within the framework of the National Ageing Policy, which unfortunately had not been implemented since its adoption in 2010.
Mr Tenkorang noted that compulsory retiring age in Ghana was pegged at 60years and many walked into it without any preparation by both the employer and the trade unions, leaving the elderly poor, socially excluded and neglected and expressed the hope that the project would help address these challenges.