Parliament has ordered the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, to appear before the House on Thursday, November 9, 2023, to explain the reason that led to the closure of the Renal Unit of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital.
The Minister is also expected to highlight the necessary steps taken by the government to ensure the re-opening of the facility for kidney patients.
At a sitting today [November 2, 2023], the Member of Parliament for Juaboso and the Ranking Member on the Health Committee of Parliament, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, initiated the call for the need to ask the Health Minister to appear before the House to speak on the closure of the Renal Unit.
“The reopening of the outpatient department cannot continue to be in abeyance, and even more distressing is the statement from the Renal Patients Association that since the closure of the outpatient department of the renal unit in May, 14 of its members have died,” Akandoh said.
“The tragic loss of life emphasizes the urgency of the matter and the necessity for immediate intervention,” he added.
Akandoh also urged the minister to address the issue of the approved GH¢380 fee charge for kidney treatment, which has not been reinstated since the outpatient department was closed.
The Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Andrew Amoako Asiamah, affirmed Akandoh’s submission and issued the directive after the MPs unanimously agreed for the minister to make an appearance before the House.
“The Minister for Health is to appear before us on Thursday, November 9, to brief us on the closure of the Renal Unit outpatient department and the upsurge of kidney-related problems in Ghana,” Asiamah said. “He should also come and tell us if the NHIS issue can also be captured in relation to kidney treatment”.
The Renal Unit at KBTH has been closed to outpatients since May 2023, and according to the Renal Patients Association, the shutdown has been causing a lot of financial inconveniences to kidney patients.
In October this year, the association revealed that more than a dozen outpatients have died since May 2023 because they could not raise the needed funds for dialysis at private facilities.
The dialysis unit was shut down due to a delay in the delivery of some consumables and a GH₵4 million debt.