Dialysis patients: Association appeals to Government to save them

Mr Baffour Kojo Ahenkorah, the President of the Renal Patients Association of Ghana, has appealed to the government to immediately save dialysis patients from death.

He said if the government says it was trying to do something then it should get to all patients involved and not just a few.

Mr Ahenkorah, speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the latest update on the dialysis situation, hinted that he heard that Parliament had approved a new fee to be charged but it is yet to be implemented.

‘We are looking at Ghc 491.00 instead of the old fee of Ghc380.00, which is not welcome at all because renal patients will not be able to pay.’

The Renal Unit at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) was shut down in May 2023 for a partial renovation and a lack of consumables only to reopen to patients in October at a higher cost.

However, patients and public outcry at the proposed fee increase from Ghc 380 to Ghc 765.42 resulted in the facility’s quick closure, although intensive care was being prov
ided for emergency cases.

This made the management of KBTH revert to the old fee of Ghc380.00.

Mr Ahenkorah said if the new fee approval by parliament turns out to be true and implemented even though it was a reduction from the earlier Ghc 765.42, renal patients would not be able to pay because for seven years now First Sky Group had been paying for them.

‘It wasn’t the patients who were paying the old fee. It was a company called First Sky Group. The company paid for seven years. The man paid for almost 270 people because most of the patients were vulnerable.

Even if you must pay Ghc100 a week for the next 10 years, patients will not be able to sustain it because being on dialysis is a lifetime issue. This government knows.

We would rather appeal to the government that as we suggested earlier they should put the cost of dialysis onto the National Health Insurance,’ he added.

He said the ‘Association plans to meet the Parliamentary Select Committee on Health when parliament resumes to see if something c
ould be done as too many lives were being lost due to the situation.’

Mr Ahenkorah also expressed displeasure that parliament had approved some money to the National Health Insurance to look at the needy patients under dialysis.

He said; ‘ Why is it for only needy patients since all of us under dialysis are needy? Can you imagine how I’ve been on the machine for the past nine years? I don’t even have Ghc 5 in my account. And that’s not needy?’ He questioned.

‘We beg them that If they say they are trying to do something about the Health Insurance then they should get all of us involved. Because we are paying Ghc 380.00 at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, just as the rich,’ he stated.

He expressed disappointment at the media for letting the ‘dialysis situation’ die out, adding that more deaths had been recorded in the past few months as patients were unable to pay for their dialysis.

Source: Ghana News Agency