The Ministry of Health has summoned the management of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital over a new fee for kidney patients who visit the Renal Unit of the facility for dialysis sessions.
Management of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital increased the price of dialysis from GH₵380.00 to GH₵765.42, representing a 101 per cent increment, without parliamentary approval.
In an interview, the Public Relations Officer(PRO) of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Mustapha Salifu, explained that the increment was due to the government’s removal of tax exemption and high import duties on products for dialysis.
He added that the Dialysis Unit would be forced to shut down if the treatment price is not increased.
The increment was received with mixed reactions, including the fact that parliament was unaware of the new charges.
The Head of Public Relations at the Health Ministry, Isaac Ofei, noted that the decision was taken without consultation.
He said that the hospital’s management had been called for an emergency meeting on the issue.
“Before you increase [fees], there is a need for proper procedure or caution to be taken, extending the proposal or the proposed price to parliament for approval, thus the fees before you charge,” he said, adding, “But this has not gotten to us yet, and even if it has gotten to the ministry, it should be before parliament, and parliament will have to approve that before it is charged.
“It is in line with this that the ministry has summoned [the hospital’s management] for an urgent meeting, and then quickly they have to withdraw the urgent price they have put out there,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Chief Executive of the hospital, Dr. Opoku Ware Ampomah, has said there will be some review of the new adjustments to lessen the financial burden on patients. The review will not be as significant as many Ghanaians wanted due to many factors affecting their operations.