PenOp part­ners Or­ange Health, Le­gus Foun­da­tion on free healthcare for pen­sion­ers

Daily Trust - - BUSINESS - Sto­ries by Chris Agabi

The Pen­sion Op­er­a­tors As­so­ci­a­tion of Nige­ria (PenOp), the um­brella as­so­ci­a­tion of all pen­sion fund op­er­a­tors in Nige­ria, has part­nered the Or­ange Health and Le­gus Foun­da­tion to de­liver free treat­ment to 1000 el­derly peo­ple, ma­jor­ity of who are pen­sion­ers, to com­mem­o­rate the World El­derly Day cel­e­brated re­cently.

Code named Pro­ject Gray 2.0, the week-long ex­er­cise, which lasted be­tween Mon­day, Oc­to­ber 5 and Fri­day Oc­to­ber 9 would saw about 1000 el­derly peo­ple from 60 years and above treated of var­i­ous ail­ments such as prostate can­cer, her­nia, breast lump, di­a­bet­ics, and gen­eral surg­eries con­ducted by spe­cial­ist sur­geons, gyne­col­o­gists, on­col­o­gists, nurses and other med­i­cal ex­perts.

The re­tirees on the Con­trib­u­tory Pen­sion Scheme are ma­jorly the ben­e­fi­cia­ries of this noble ini­tia­tive who have ex­pressed ap­pre­ci­a­tion to pen­sion op­er­a­tors for the ges­ture.

Ac­cord­ing

to one

of

the re­tirees who de­clined his name be men­tioned, that noted that the new pen­sion scheme couldn’t have been bet­ter. He said even when his pen­sion has been paid regularly by his PFA, they have gone out of their way in giv­ing them free treat­ment of this mag­ni­tude.

“My sin­cere ap­pre­ci­a­tion goes to PenOp for invit­ing me to par­take in this pro­gramme . I have been di­ag­nosed of di­a­betese and the doc­tors have told me what to do next, which of course, the or­ga­niz­ers are go­ing to take fi­nan­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity for the en­tire treat­ment. I am glad and I give thanks to God for mak­ing it hap­pen right in my pres­ence. It couldn’t have been bet­ter,” he said.

The Ex­ec­u­tive Sec­re­tary of PenOp, Su­san Oranye, said that the sig­nif­i­cance of Pro­ject Gray 2.0 can­not be overem­pha­sized as it fo­cuses on the health and well­be­ing of the el­derly. Op­er­a­tors un­der­stand that hav­ing a pen­sion ben­e­fit to fall back on in re­tire­ment and good health is the main fo­cus of many el­derly men and women. It is this com­mit­ment to the well­be­ing of old peo­ple that led to PenOp’s col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Or­ange Health Ini­tia­tive in en­sur­ing that these peo­ple have un­hin­dered ac­cess to med­i­cal check­ups and treat­ments for this week.

She said: “The Pro­ject Gray 2.0 is an ini­tia­tive that cel­e­brates the World’s El­ders’ Day. Now, it is im­por­tant that as a coun­try and as a peo­ple we take care of our el­derly and make sure that in re­tire­ment they can, at least, main­tain a de­cent stan­dard of liv­ing. This is the ethos that guides the pen­sion sys­tem in the coun­try.”

Oranye added that “PenOp is ex­ceed­ingly ex­cited about this pro­gramme be­cause this pro­ject marks the kick­off of the first geri­atric hos­pi­tal in Nige­ria and this is some­thing we are pas­sion­ate about.

Ac­knowl­edg­ing the cre­ativ­ity of the Or­ange Health Ini­tia­tive headed by Dr. Kunle Meg­buwa­won, Oranye said the NGO is work­ing very hard to fo­cus on the wel­fare and the healthcare of the el­derly and that the op­er­a­tors are keen to work with them.

She dis­closed that the Or­ange Health Ini­tia­tive had de­ployed spe­cial­ist doc­tors from all over the coun­try to take part in this pro­gramme and were also in part­ner­ship with Ex­part­care Health Ltd, a well struc­tured HMO.

“This is the fu­ture of pen­sion in­dus­try in Nige­ria and that is why the op­er­a­tors are work­ing so hard to en­sure that they get as many peo­ple into the Con­trib­u­tory Pen­sion Scheme so that when they re­tire they too will have funds to pay for their med­i­cal bills. We make sure that they are able to take care of them­selves and their loved ones when they re­tire from ac­tive ser­vice.

“PenOp is pas­sion­ate about this pro­gramme be­cause a coun­try that does not cater for its el­derly does not re­spect its history enough. We be­lieve Pro­ject Gray 2.0 is a wor­thy cause that de­serves our sup­port. Op­er­a­tors have al­ready sent in over 250 re­tirees to be checked and treated in this pro­grammes.” the Ex­ec­u­tive Sec­re­tary added.

Dr Kola Adey­ina, the Chair­man of Le­gus Foun­da­tion and founder of Vet­eran Hos­pi­tal lo­cated in the La­gos Me­trop­o­lis where the el­ders are cur­rently re­ceiv­ing treat­ment, said that the pro­ject slated to last for one week is con­ducted by spe­cial­ists from dif­fer­ent med­i­cal call­ings.

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