Parliament To Reverse Increment for Dialysis Treatment

…Says Approval Was An Error; Finance Ministry To Return For Correction

Finally, there is some good news for patients suffering from kidney failure, after members on the Subsidiary Legislation Committee of Parliament, have hinted plans to reverse the recently approved fee increment for the treatment of dialysis in public hospitals.

According to the lawmakers, the recently approved fee from GH₵380 to GH₵491, was a mistake they intend to correct it.

Chairman of the Committee and Member of Parliament (MP) for Bolgatanga East Constituency, Dominic Ayeni, admits to the error saying, the document that contained the proposal from the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, was passed in a hurry.

He conceded there were a lot of errors that were contained in the document, adding that members on the Committee, have already asked the Minister of State at the Finance Ministry, Abena Osei Asare, to bring an addendum to correct the anomaly.

Speaking on the floor of Parliament, the Bolga East MP said the minister has agreed to bring the document back to the House for the necessary changes.

“I told them that there were a lot of errors and time had run out on us and therefore they should bring an addendum for us to correct the errors including this issue of dialysis. I told the Honourable Member of Juabuso that this was where we were with the issue. There are a number of them and Honouble Abena Osei said they are preparing to bring the addendum to Parliament so we correct the errors.

Giving his verdict on the matter, Speaker Alban Bagbin, asked the Committee to engage the various stakeholders and come up with the best antidote to the problem.

“So what I can say is the apply order 93 rule 6, I will direct the Subsidiary Legislation committee just to follow up to the agencies involved and hold discussions and then see how some action can be taken in this matter”, the Speaker said.

Earlier on the floor of Parliament, Ranking Member on the Health Committee, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, who had previously said the increment did not pass through the right procedure in Parliament, called on the Minister to expedite action on the matter.

He also demanded that, a lasting decision be taken on the way forward for these patients and their treatment.

“Mr Speaker, I think that as a matter of urgency I want to use this platform to call on the Minister responsible for Finance to come back to amend this particular Act. Mr Speaker already, the people cannot afford the GH₵380. Mr. Speaker, we need as a state to take a decision whether to subsidize or absolve the entire cost and not to increase the cost of dialysis in this country.”

President of the Renal Dialysis Association Major Baffour Ahenkorang who welcomed the latest news asked that the process be hastened so they do not lose more lives.

According to Major Ahenkora, patients are really suffering under the current situation. He said instead of three sessions per week, patients are now doing just one.

He said patients are spending so much aside the dialysis treatment adding they are spending so much on drugs, injection, and transportation and so on.

“For all that we need is that we wake up one morning they say oh dialysis is free or may be government is taking may be70 percent go and pay 30 percent so let say if I am going I have 100 cedis, I will pay 100 percent then government will pay the rest”, he said.

Major Bafour Ahenkora, had after news of the increment lamented bitter that it could have been postponed until efforts to include dialysis treatment costs under the National Health Insurance Scheme were finalized.

He urged authorities to reconsider the decision, stating, “If it’s Parliament that did this, we beg them to revisit the issues and do something about it.”

The change in position comes in the wake of condemnation by the general public after announcement that Parliament has agreed to proposal to increase price of treatment.

Kidney patients who called the increment as a death warrant had sent an SOS call to the august to rescind their decision because they are already incurring so much with the current fee saying increasing the fee was going to send them to their early graves.


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