By Anna Ingwafa
The Motor Vehicle Accident Fund (MVA) on Tuesday held a stakeholders’ meeting at Ondangwa, which aimed at sensitizing stakeholders about the fund’s new legislation and to get their views.
The cover and benefit provided by the new MVA Act comprises of reimbursement of income lost as a result of injuries subject to periodic assessment until the age of 60, and reimbursement of financial support lost by a dependant of a motor vehicle victim.
As a result, these payments cease at age 60 for a spouse and for a child until education ceases or at the age of 18.
The maximum payments provided by the Act comprise N$1.5 million compared to the N$30 000 during the past for medical treatment, injury management, rehabilitation and life enhancement per person.
It also added N$100 000 cash compensation for injuries and N$1 million per annum for loss of support by dependants.
Explaining the new MVA Act, MVA Chief Executive Officer Jerry Muadinohamba noted that the new act that came into force in May 2008 has major changes that include promoting and implementing motor vehicle accident and injury prevention measures.
It provides for treatment, rehabilitation and continuing support when required, and provides assistance to dependants of those killed in motor vehicle accidents. These are among the changes in the act that were overlooked in the past.
The new act provides for the establishment of a committee for claimants wishing to have the fund’s decisions reviewed.
There are exclusions on cover that are linked to accident cause.
According to Muadinohamba, a driver’s benefits are reduced to half if they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, do not hold a current license, was driving a stolen vehicle or using the vehicle in commission of crime.
He indicated that the fund’s project “Xupifa Eemwenyo” since implementation has proven a success by minimizing accidents during the festive season.
The fund is working hard to intensify the campaign in other regions where it does not reach so far.
In the financial year ended on March 30, 2008, the fund spent over N$88 million in meeting the needs of injured Namibians and their dependants.
“Amounts paid each year include payments for claims accepted in that year, as well as costs for injuries incurred in the past year for which ongoing treatment and support are required,” said Muadinohamba.
So far the fund has provided support to over 1500 people.
The fund signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Health and Social Services earlier to help renovate and repair ambulances.
It has already renovated one ward at the Katutura State Hospital where motor vehicle injuries are treated and another ward at Windhoek Central Hospital, where spinal cord injuries are treated and added equipment is used in these wards.
Muadinohamba said three strategic focus areas for 2008 to 2013, are coordination of effective accident and injury prevention, ensuring the fund provides effective transport, treatment, and rehabilitation focused on returning people to a productive life, and operational excellence and high public confidence.