Medical practitioner, Dr. Titus Beyuo says the reopening of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital’s Renal Unit will lead to further complications in the near future.
Korle Bu had shut down its renal unit to out-patients in May due to a GHȼ4 million debt.
Hospital authorities had blamed the situation on the removal of tax and excise duty exemption on medical consumables which had doubled the prices of the essential commodities.
The hospital had earlier tried to increase fees for dialysis treatment from GH¢380 to GH¢765 to cover the cost, stating that should the old fees be maintained; the centre would not be able to stay open for more than a week.
However, after weeks of piling pressure on state authorities and hospital management, the renal unit was forced open.
Reacting to the opening of the unit, Dr. Beyuo said without the government providing the hospital with a sustainable financial plan and clearing its accumulated debts, the Unit may be forced to close down very soon.
Speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show, he explained that without a proper financial structure, the hospital’s debt will continue to accumulate and risks being blacklisted by service providers.
He said, “The opening that Korle Bu has declared open now is only going to take us to a state where we are worse off than where we began. What do I mean by worse off?
“We’re going to get to a place where one, even those who have money cannot get dialysis because if they use up all their consumables because they’ve been forced to use them.
“And my information is that from today, any patient Korle Bu dialyses for every single patient that pays the old fee of 380 cedis, Korle Bu is going to accumulate another debt of 380 cedis per session per patient.”
He further stated that when the hospital finally runs out of consumables, the unit will have to shut down completely once again, affecting general healthcare delivery in the country.
“The CEO mentioned to us that they need about GH¢961,000 a month to sustain the dialysis at the current rate. This is where that debt comes from.
“So if we haven’t answered this question what this means is that they’re going to run out of consumables, they’re not going to get consumables, and now my patient, a pregnant woman who is not having any chronic hypertension, whose only sin she has committed is being pregnant, trying to bring another human being into this world and develops a complication like eclampsia or pre-eclampsia with acute kidney injury who is potentially curable … these people are not even going to get the dialysis.
“So that is how we should see the problem and then ask hard questions,” he explained.
Meanwhile, the hospital management has urged parliament to expedite action on the proposed new fees – GH¢765 to “enable us to recover cost and sustain the service.”