Affordable medical care for farmworkers

State health services and facilities, on which farmworkers are currently dependent, are usually inadequate and not of an acceptable standard.

03 March 2021 | Agriculture

STAFF REPORTER

WINDHOEK

The Namibian Agricultural Union (NAU) has investigated the possibility of affordable medical assistance for farmworkers, which will give them access to private doctors and hospitals.

The investigation was at the request of the Okahandja Farmers’ Association.

According to the NAU, the state's medical services and facilities, on which they are currently dependent, are usually inadequate and not of an acceptable standard.

“The two medical funds that endorse the NAU and that many farm employers belong to confirmed that the traditional medical aids have no cheap medical plans for farmworkers,” says the union.

The NAU says the reason for this is that private doctors and hospitals are very expensive, and inexpensive premiums cannot cover such expenses.

According to the union, management members of the Khomas Medical Centre visited the Agricultural Employers' Association (AEA) in February about a product that they are introducing.

This product can bring private medical services within reach of farmworkers.

New fund

The NAU says the Khomas Loyalty Fund is a fund that allows farmworkers and their families to be treated by a private doctor at a private medical centre.

Patients can choose the centre they want to visit - either in Windhoek, at the coast, at Tsumeb or Outapi.

They will get a file and build up a medical history. For only N$230 per month, a worker and his family of up to five members will receive annual medical cover, including several free services.

This includes 15 general practitioner consultations per family per year, N$150 acute medication per consultation, N$1 500 per year for essential blood tests, death cover of N$5 000 for the main member and N$1 000 per dependent.

Farmers' associations that need this for their members' workers can contact the NAU office for further information.

The NAU says if there are enough participants from regions that do not currently have these medical centres, the services might be extended to other regions.

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