Home / News / Korle Bu Renal Unit: Why Parliament mute on health over debt non-payment – Kwame Sarpong AsieduKorle

Korle Bu Renal Unit: Why Parliament mute on health over debt non-payment – Kwame Sarpong AsieduKorle

Pharmacist and Democracy and Development Fellow at CDD-Ghana, Kwame Sarpong Asiedu, has called on Parliament to haul the Minister of Health before the house to answer questions about the government’s failure to settle the indebtedness of Korle Bu Teaching Hospital’s Renal Unit.

The Renal Unit has accumulated a debt of GH₵4 million following the removal of tax and excise duty exemptions on medical consumables.

This led to the closure of the Renal Unit for about four months last year, and following public uproar, the government promised to settle the debt and see to the full opening of the Renal Unit.

They had also promised to put dialysis treatment for patients with kidney challenges on the NHIS.

In Parliament in November 2023, the Health Minister, Kwaku Agyemang Manu noted that “The MoH has since requested the Ministry of Finance to settle the total indebtedness to the GH₵4 million and the good news is that the Minister for Finance has just approved the disbursement of GH₵4 million to support our patients in Korle Bu.”

However, it has been reported that the said disbursement has still not been made, threatening the operation of the Renal Unit at Korle Bu.

While bemoaning the failure of government to settle the debt, Kwame Sarpong Asiedu was surprised the Health Minister was not being questioned about what was going on.

“When we had the Minister of Health who is an accountant, who knows that this has to have an item line go into Parliament, like you’ve just read, tell us that the Minister of Finance has approved that the monies get paid and that other things were going to happen like this was going to be put on the NHIS and it didn’t happen. And Parliament is a house of records.

“So I then started asking myself, if honourable Dafeamekpor is saying, and I checked with other parliamentarians and they’re all saying that the money hasn’t been paid then why is Parliament not hauling this minister back to say you told us that this money has been paid and we find out that it hasn’t been paid, so what the hell is going on here?

“And we forget that these are human lives, these are not numbers or pawns on a chess board that are being pushed around. They are human beings. And from September, in fact this Unit closed in July, from September we’ve been having this conversation about 4 million cedis. Don’t get me wrong, 4 million cedis, and now the unit is operating at the benevolence of First Sky. Why should that happen? What kind of country are we running?”

Meanwhile, the First Sky Group has announced plans to establish a state-of-the-art kidney transplant centre at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital by the end of 2024.

The announcement was made during the 21st annual Thanksgiving service held at the Accra International Conference Centre.

The CEO of the company, Mr Eric Seddy Kutortse noted that the proposed kidney transplant centre will become a pioneering facility in the region, providing critical medical services to patients suffering from renal conditions.

He added that the centre will be equipped with cutting-edge technology, highly skilled medical professionals, and a comprehensive support system to ensure the success of kidney transplant procedures.

The company had earlier donated GH₵‎2m to Korle Bu’s renal patients to help alleviate the financial burden of patients undergoing renal dialysis. 

Myjoyonline.com

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