Pleads for scheme to visit remote areas

A 76-year-old bedridden Sebastian Edmund pleaded with authorities of the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) yesterday to visit remote areas.


Sebastian Edmund arriving at the Ogle International Airport on Sunday

Edmund in his hotel room being visited by Local Pastor Kester Dean


Edmund fell ill a year ago and became confined to a bed and wheelchair.
Just to prove that he is alive, he was made to travel miles from Paruima in the Upper Mazaruni to Georgetown with the aid of his nephew.
Edmund had authorised his nephew who resides in Aishalton, North Rupununi, to uplift his pension book and monthly pension at the NIS office in Lethem.
The man’s nephew told Kaieteur News, yesterday, that he has been uplifting his uncle’s pension since 2015 and had only recently renewed the legal P4 form in Lethem.
However, on Friday last he visited the Lethem’s NIS office to uplift his uncle’s pension book and was unable to do so.
He was told by the supervisor that NIS suspects that his uncle might be dead and will commence an investigation.
Edmund’s nephew then argued that his uncle is alive and there is no need for an investigation but the supervisor responded that Edmund will have to travel to prove that he is alive.
The man then requested that a nurse be sent in to visit his uncle and issue the life certificate to avoid the fatigue of air travel for his sick uncle but that was also denied.
Edmund who receives $30,000 monthly from NIS was left with no choice but to pay a return ticket to Georgetown, which costs $50,000 plus hotel fee to receive his life certificate.
Edmund arrived on Sunday and was given his life certificate yesterday and is scheduled to return to Paruima today.
While at the NIS office yesterday, Edmund and his nephew pleaded with the authorities to implement a system whereby officials can visit remote areas across Guyana to issue life certificates and if possible make payments.
This will greatly assist a number of senior citizens from these areas that suffer from various illnesses and disabilities.
Kaieteur News was also told of an old man who rides the dusty Lethem road on his bicycle for four days just to receive his NIS pension.

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