Legislators have discussed a proposal to allow the Parliamentary Pension Scheme advance loans to its members.
The Parliamentary Pension Scheme was established in 2007 by the Parliamentary Pensions Act, more about http://contentisbae.com/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-list-table.php 2007 for the payment or granting of pensions or retirement benefits to MPs and staff of Parliament.
The Act was also intended to make provision for a contributory pension scheme for MPs and staff of Parliament.
It has come back to the House for further amendment, to provide for additional powers to the Board of Trustees; provide continuity of the Board membership and to change the pensionable period of service from five to 10 years.
Former Parliament Commissioner, Hon. Emmanuel Dombo (NRM, Bunyole), however proposed that the Scheme “be granted powers to lend to its members in order for them to benefit from their savings.”
He said that Scheme would charge lower interest rates than commercial banks on loans and argued that the Board of Trustees will have the responsibility to set guidelines and guarantees for safe borrowing.
He said despite negotiations, commercial banks had refused to lower their interest rates, because MPs had no alternative source of borrowing.
“When we get this source of borrowing, they will be forced to offer favourable interest rates,” said Hon. Dombo.
Members said borrowing from the Scheme will save them from the “embarrassment suffered when we borrow and fail to pay back to commercial banks and money lenders, whose interest rates keep fluctuating”, pushing them into hiding or ending up in prison.
They also argued that funds lent by the Scheme will be easy to recover from members through ‘deductions at source.’
The Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, which considered the Bill, rejected the proposal observing that “the best pension governance practices worldwide require that any Act, rules, regulation or deed document establishing a pension scheme must put in place restrictions on the use of scheme funds.”
The Chairperson of the Committee, Hon. Stephen Tashobya said that “The fundamental restriction is that the scheme funds should not be lent to any person.”
Hon. Tashobya said government needed to consider the bigger problem of high interest rates in the country.
He also said that it is wrong and illegal to turn the Pension Scheme, “which was established as a pension fund to benefit members when they leave the House, into a commercial institution.”
The Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga deferred consideration of the Bill to Thursday to allow Members scrutinise all the related laws and for the Attorney General to address gaps in the existing laws on pension.
The Parliamentary Pensions (Amendment) Bill, 2014 was moved by Parliament Commissioner, Hon. Rose Akol Okullu, as a Private Members Bill.
Dr. Ben Mbonye is an orthopedic surgeon and CEO of Nakasero Hospital.
He is also one of the founders of the health facility which opened its doors in 2009 with the main objective of filling up a gap that was created by lack of adequate medical facilities in the country forcing many people to seek medical attention overseas.
He is a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in UK with a post fellowship Masters in orthopedics from University of Liverpool.
He was formally a director of Private Sector Foundation and has worked in public service for over 20 years, stuff http://chuckatuckhistory.com/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/locales.php until he decided to resign and practice his profession in medicine.
ChimpReports (CR) had a one-on-one with Dr Mbonye (BM) on his journey and state of Uganda’s medical facilities and below are the excerpts.
CR: Give a brief background on yourself?
BM: I was born in Kabale and I am married with five Children. I had my secondary education from Kigezi College Butobere and Makerere College. I hold a degree in medicine from Makerere University and Masters in Surgery from the University of Nairobi.
I worked in England as an orthopedic surgeon until 1987 when I returned to Uganda and joined the department of orthopedics as senior lecturer and head of department.
CR: How did you join the Public service?
BM: In 1981, http://clearintotheclassroom.com/wp-content/plugins/gravityforms/tooltips.php I was appointed chief of Medical services in the National Resistance Army and afterwards made Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Defenc, http://centruldedic.ro/wp-admin/includes/class-file-upload-upgrader.php a position I held until 2000 when I was transferred to the Office of the president where I served for three years as Secretary of the President.
I decided to retire from Public service to go and practice my medical profession.
I joined Medical Specialist Centre where I operated until 2009 when my colleagues and I decided to start up our own medical facility.
CR: Why did you open up Nakasero hospital?
BM: Nakasero hospital was established to provide quality services and reduce on the number of patients that were being transferred abroad by concentrating multi-disciplinary medical consultancies in one place.
CR: Comment on the status of the medical facilities in Uganda.
BM: Medical facilities have a long way to go. We still have inadequate resources in Uganda.
We hope the government will come in to help both the private and public sector to grow at the same rate the economy is growing because it’s from healthy people that you generate labor for economic development.
Government needs to assist the private health sector grow through cheap financing so that it can supplement the effort being put in the private sector.
It is worth noting that the private health sector provides services to more than 50 percent of the Ugandan population, according to WHO studies.
Our hope is that government will come up with a National Health Insurance policy that will enable more Ugandans access health facilities of their choice and reduce the burden public facilities are facing.
CR: What challenges are you still facing?
BM: We are facing the problem of in adequate resources and lack the required technology to achieve our objectives to the fullest.
Also, the cost of financing is high especially when borrowing in dollars yet earn in Ugandan shilling
CR: What differentiates Nakasero from other medical facilities?
BM: The manner in which we handle our patients is unique and in accordance to our motto, “Quality care with compassion.”
Besides our variety of specialists, Nakasero has a wide range of both laboratory and imaging services under one roof.