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Government directs teaching hospitals to pay their own utility bills

Ghanaians should brace themselves to pay for the electricity and water they access while they are seeking health care at the various teaching hospitals in the country.

This is because the government has directed all the teaching hospitals in the country to start paying their own electricity and water bills.

Highly placed sources at some of the hospitals say they have no choice but to push the burden on patients even if they are on the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

A top management member of the Tamale Teaching Hospital who spoke anonymously with said the new directive could ground the hospital’s operations.

The source said the hospital’s electricity bill for July, was over Gh¢650,000, an amount he added the hospital could not raise monthly to pay if the policy is implemented.

“So for July alone, our bill was in excess of 6.5 billion [old Cedis] and that was just for electricity alone, imagine how much our water bill will cost us,” the top management member noted.

“This means that we have to push the burden on the already overburdened patient to pay. Imagine coming to access Healthcare and you have to pay for the electricity and water you use while accessing it,” the source added.

He said the financial pressure on the facilities would be “enormous” and likely collapse them if the directive was to stay.

The source said the government had already directed them to pay the 13th month salary of their workers for 2021,2022 and 2023, which was causing them hugely.

“Already, we’ve been directed to pay the 13th month salary of our staff from 2021 to date. We are having to spend millions on that, for instance, for 2021, we’re paying our doctors alone over 1.4 million cedis, that’s minus nurses, midwives, pharmacists and all the others. And that’s just for one year. How can we cope?” the source said.

The 13th month salary Is an extra paycheck that is typically equal to one month’s salary. It is paid in addition to an employee’s annual salary.

Government used to pay it until 2021 when payment stalled and was later pushed on the hospitals to pay.

ghanaweb.com

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