The administration is allegedly consigning renal sufferers to death, according to the minority in parliament.
The NDC MPs claim that the government’s move to impose taxes on reagents and other necessary medical supplies has caused the price of procedures like dialysis to skyrocket.
Following public outcry, Ghana’s top referral hospital Korle Bu was forced to reverse its intention to 100% raise the cost of dialysis.
Dr. Sebastian Sandaare, a member of the Parliamentary Health Committee and a licensed physician, accused the government of underfunding the construction of enough dialysis facilities around the nation in an interview with Starr News.
The DBI MP also urged the government to take into account covering the cost of treating renal ailments through the NHIS to lessen the burden on patients, blaming the rise in kidney disease cases on the government’s failure to combat galamsey.
The Minority in Parliament earlier requested in a statement that the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital immediately reimburse the additional unlawful fees it assessed to dialysis patients in the outpatient section of its Renal Unit.
“Although this may not be enough restitution to placate patients who may have suffered needlessly from the hospital’s earlier decision, refunds in terms of cash or an offer to provide dialysis services to offset the difference between the original and adjusted prices is the right thing to do and will go a long way to demonstrate to patients that the hospital is sensitive to their plight and is willing to do right by them,” the ranking member on Health Committee of Parliament, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh stated.
Below is the full statement from the Minority
REFUND ILLEGAL DIALYSIS FEES TO AFFECTED PATIENTS OF THE KORLE BU TEACHING HOSPITAL’S RENAL DIALYSIS UNIT – MINORITY DEMANDS
The Minority in Parliament demands that with immediate effect the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital refunds the excess illegal fees it levied on dialysis patient at the outpatient department of its Renal Unit.
Although this may not be enough restitution to placate patients who may have suffered needlessly from the hospital’s earlier decision, refunds in terms of cash or an offer to provide dialysis services to offset the difference between the original and adjusted prices is the right thing to do and will go a long way to demonstrate to patients that the hospital is sensitive to their plight and is willing to do right by them.
We have taken note that our timely intervention calling on hospital authorities to reverse the unauthorized and illegal increase in dialysis fees has led to the hospital acknowledging that the fees were prematurely adjusted, not having gone through the necessary steps required for such adjustments. Therefore, we expect an immediate return to the previous fee structure.
Beyond addressing the immediate concerns, we firmly believe that Korle Bu, as a reputable healthcare institution, must undertake comprehensive institutional reforms. These reforms should aim to prevent the recurrence of such avoidable mistakes. It is imperative to establish robust structures and processes that guarantee transparency, accountability, and oversight within the hospital’s financial operations. This will not only enhance patient trust but also ensure that the hospital operates efficiently and effectively.
Government must also work towards automating the exemptions regime for the procurement of health consumables and equipment to do away with the current system where health facilities are required to apply to the Minister responsible for Finance for duty waivers and exemptions for each import consignment. The current situation is unacceptable considering the advances we claim to have been instituted at our ports.
In conclusion, we will like to call on government to consider working assiduously to ensure equitable distribution of health resources and equipment such as dialysis machines across the country. We believe that in 2023, every district hospital should at the very least have one dialysis machine available to persons living within that district.
We want to assure the people of Ghana of our unwavering commitment to championing the needs of ordinary citizens under this government. Together, we can build a healthcare system that serves the best interests of all.
Thank you, and may God bless our beloved homeland Ghana.
Kwabena Mintah Akandoh
(Ranking Member – Parliamentary Select Committee on Health)