Health News of 2014-07-13

Retirement not a bitter pill

The Head of Industrial Relations, at the Human Resource Division of Ghana Health Service Mr. Morlo E. Annor has advised workers to make good and early plans for retirements to avoid the common frustration and humiliation some people experience at retirement making retirement seems like a bitter pill to swallow. Mr. Annor who is also the Former Chief Personnel officer gave the advice when he was addressing a durbar of health staff of the Upper East Regional Health Directorate in Bolgatanga. He said retirement is not like death which comes unannounced; this is something which everybody who is in formal employment knows well. He indicated that retirement is a period in the life of an employee during which one transits from a life largely controlled by the employer to a life which one regains full control over and can decide how to spend your time and other resources. It is a period regarded greatly as a moment of relaxation; sober reflection as such in his view should be devoid of any worries especially concerns of living a decent life. Mr. Annor who was in the region for a week long Human Resource Policy Guideline Dissemination program met and first addressed staff of the Regional Health Directorate and the Regional Medical stores on the Ministry of Health Response to the National Pension Act, 2008 (Act 766) before travelling to deliver similar lecture to staff of Bawku West District Hospital, Bawku Presby Hospital, Bolgatanga Regional Hospital, Bongo District Hospital and Bolgatanga Municipal Health Directorate. He also used the opportunity to review certain important human resource policies of Ghana Health Service, Ministry of Health including: the code of ethics, core values, disciplinary procedures, rules of engagement and disengagement as well as career progression, study leave, among others. Referring to some challenges people often encountered accessing their retirement benefits and or living a good life Mr Annor said retirement planning is one such thing that if you fail to do well you will success the consequences. “Some of the horrible things we hear or see people go through when the go on pension are largely as a result of failure of the employees to make the right decisions or take the appropriate and timely action. He lamented that some people get into employment and forget there is something like retirement until they receive a letter SSNIT notifying them of the due date sometimes only few months to the actual date. He advised that employee are expected to planning on their own about their retirement as well as regularly checking with the pension regular-SSNIT for correcting and updating all necessary personal data. On annual leave, study leave, sick or temporary leaves Mr. Annor said there are clearly spelled out guideline and ethics and implored management and staff to go by the them failure to do so which will expose the institution to ridicule and disrepute. The regional Director of Health Service Dr John Koku Awoonor-Williams said the region decided to carry our the human resource policy dissemination program in order to let workers understand the new pension scheme and the need for them to prepare to hand over in time for retirement. The idea was also refresh the knowledge of managers and supervisors on the rules, norms of the Ghana Health Service as well as the rules on permanent, temporary disengagements as enshrined in the Labor Act and the need for strict adherence to these rules. He happy that the program first league of the program was success and assured staff whose facilities were not covered in the first visit that they would the visit by Mr. Annor would be repeat until staff in all facilities in the region have taken their turn to benefit from the lecture. Dr Awonoor was hopeful the information will help to foster smooth working relationship between staff and management and improve staff commitment. The Administrator at the Bolgatanga Regional Hospital in an interview after the staff durbar at the hospital was delighted at the region’s initiative to have such a knowledgeable person disseminate such important information to staff at all levels. He was hopeful the lectures will bring to rest some of the petty misinterpretation of some human resource guidelines.