The Renal Dialysis Unit of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital has yet again accumulated an amount of GH₵2 million in debt for treating kidney patients.
This comes three months after the government settled an initial debt of GH¢4 million incurred by Unit.
According to the Director of Medical Affairs at the KBTH, Dr Owusu Sekyere, the facility had incurred another debt because renal patients pay only half of the dialysis treatment cost, and there are no other ways to substitute the remaining expenses.
Speaking in an interview on Joy FM’s Midday News he said, “We are also a preview to the fact that the cost of Korle Bu Teaching hospital performing one dialysis is well over GH¢720, and patients are paying GH¢380, so there is a difference of about GH¢380 or GH¢400 that needs to be looked at.
“I think that is what led to the shutdown initially then we got consignment and there was a huge discussion about it.
“There was a bill of GH¢4 million that has been accumulated because of the exchange rate and then other things that happened which have been cleared but the fact remains that we still haven’t tackled the difference in the cost.
“Since we opened, giving dialysis at that rate till now, I don’t think it is strange to know that we have accumulated another GH¢2 million bill.”
Dr Sekyere hopes Parliament approves their proposed fees.
Meanwhile, the President of the Renal Patients Association of Ghana, Baafour Kojo Ahenkora, said he visited the renal unit today to undergo dialysis at GH¢380.
He stressed that even with that amount, some of his members could not afford the cost of undergoing dialysis.
Mr Ahenkora prayed that the prices would not be changed because many might lose their lives.
In May 2023, the Renal Unit was shut down with hospital authorities blaming the situation on the removal of tax and excise duty exemption on medical consumables.
This had created a GH¢4 million debt for the hospital.
The centre was subsequently opened on November 6, 2023, after some engagement with the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman Manu.