Addressing members of the Ghanaian Community in Guangzhou on Saturday, December 22nd as part of a 3-day working visit to the Guangdong Province, Dr. China, (as the Envoy is popularly called), advised members of the Ghanaian community in China to purchase appropriate travel insurance policies for themselves and their family members.
He recalled how some members of the community have fallen out due to unavailability of funds to cater for their hospital bills. He advised the members that contrary to the impression that the Ghana Embassy has a large pool of funds available to take care of Ghanaians who are hospitalized, there was no such thing available and that most often Embassy officials have to contribute their personal resources in order to assist a Ghanaian in critical condition.
He indicated that the practice of expecting funds from the Embassy to take care of Ghanaians who get hospitalized and are unable to afford their bills is not sustainable and must not be encouraged but rather, members should take the necessary steps to buy the appropriate insurance policies so they can be taken care of in times of emergencies.
He recounted how over 5 members of the community have passed away this year due to their inability to seek early medical attention as result of lack of funds, a situation which could have easily been avoided had they purchased the appropriate insurance policies.
“To this end, we shall be liaising with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ghana and the Chinese Embassy in Accra to ensure that, going forward, travel /medical insurance is added to the list of required items for a Chinese visa”, he said.
According to him, the situation is not peculiar to only those resident in China but also the traders who ply their trade in China. He informed the gathering that the year 2018 also recorded a number of cases where business men and women came to China on business trips and fell critically ill with some unable to survive and return to Ghana alive.
He revealed that in such instances, unbearable pressure is brought to bear on the Embassy officials, especially the Consular Officers, as staff members often have to contribute money to intervene.
He therefore advised the community leadership to leverage their numbers in negotiating better insurance packages for their members.
The Chairman of the Ghanaian Community in Guangzhou, Elder Frimpong, thanked the Deputy Ambassador and assured him that the leadership of the Community will do everything possible to get the insurance issues resolved.
He expressed the appreciation of the Guangzhou Community to officials of the Embassy for the continued support.
Present at the meeting were the First Secretary/Consular Mr Peter Allswel, Executive members of the Guangzhou Chapter of the Ghanaian Community and members of the Community.