Korle-Bu Snubs Minister’s Directive

…Refuses To Reopen Renal Centre Despite More Deaths

More kidney patients are likely to die in the coming days, following the refusal by the authorities at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital to re-open its renal out-patients department, where many have been seeking healthcare.

The sector minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, had given immediate instruction to the premier hospital to re-open the facility last week.

But six clear days after the marching orders were given, the unit remains closed with no official statement.

Though the hospital is yet to come out, reports suggest the unit’s closure was as a result of aGH₵4million debt it owes its suppliers of consumables.

The Anchor gathered that the ministry and the hospital authorities were in a marathon meeting to resolve the matter, but at the time of going to press yesterday, no amicable solution had been arrived at.

This is notwithstanding an earlier assurance by the Presidential Advisor on Health, Dr. Nsiah Asare, to see to the resettlement of the debt.

As it stands, only in-patients are allowed, while the out-patients department (OPD) remains shut down.

The president of the Renal Patients Association, Kojo Baffuor Ahenkora, says the continuous closure of the facility will mean more of their colleagues are going to die since they cannot afford private facilities.

Already, the Association says, 19 of their colleagues have died since May 22, when the unit was shut.

Asked what would happen if the unit remained closed, he retorted, in an interview with Joy FM, that “We die, bottom line, we die. Since from May, we have lost 19 people. People are dying, if you don’t have money to go to private hospital, you wait for your time to die.”

He added: “If you don’t have money to afford it somewhere, you wait for your fate. So, I was even saying that I would beg the doctors that they should find a way and kill all of us peacefully. Very soon, some of us will not even have money to go for the sessions again. What is all this? What is going on?”

In a separate interview with TV3 360 yesterday evening, Mr. Ahenkora said he had been informed by authorities that the unit may likely be opened tomorrow, Wednesday 8 November.

He told the television station he is not the only one that has been informed, as his checks indicate about six of his colleagues have also been communicated to with the same information.

He however insists that the continuous closure was because the management of the hospital has not been honest with the Health Minister about the GHȼ4million debt.

He stressed that machines at the renal department consume a lot of energy, hence until the debt is cleared, the unit might close again after a week or two for non-payment.

Mr. Ahenkora appealed to the management of the hospital to be honest about the problem for the health authorities to ensure that it was resolved to avoid losing more patients.

This notwithstanding, a visit to the renal unit on November 6, 2023 revealed a decrease in patients seeking dialysis.

Report by CitiNews says a partial reopening of the Unit on Wednesday, September 27, was commissioned with an announcement of an increase in dialysis treatment per session from GH¢380 to GHS¢765.42.

Meanwhile, Mr. Agyeman-Manu is expected to appear before Parliament to brief the House on the matter.

On September 27, the Unit was opened. However, the public outcry that greeted the announcement of new fees per session of GHS¢765.42 from the previous GH¢380 necessitated a closure.

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