This was disclosed on the floor of Parliament by Mr Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, the Minister of Health, when he briefed the House on the closure of the Renal Unit’s Out-Patients Department (OPD) at the Hospital.
“Mr Speaker, in the meantime the RDU (Renal Dialysis Unit) has been opened to the public since Monday, November 6, 2023, to Out-Patients as directed by the Ministry,” Mr Agyemang-Manu said.
The Health Minister’s invitation to Parliament follows a statement on the floor of the House by Mr Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, the NDC Member of Parliament (MP) for Juaboso and Ranking Member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Health, on November 2, on the prolonged closure of the Renal Unit’s OPD at the Korle-bu Teaching Hospital.
The OPD of the Renal Unit was closed on May 22, which the Hospital’s authorities attributed to the removal of tax exemptions on medical consumables.
Since then, 19 patients have lost their lives.
Mr Agyemang-Manu said the debt accrual was due to a delay in payment to South African consumable suppliers, Sky Group of Companies, over the past two years.
Another factor was the increase in numbers of patients with dialysis issues, which had led to an increase in cost of care.
He said as part of efforts to avoid future debts, the Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the Korle-bu Teaching Hospital, was considering the possible inclusion of dialysis on the National Health Insurance benefit package.
Mr Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Asawase, urged the Health Minister to ensure that all Renal Units in government hospitals were functioning properly.
Mr Carlos Kingsley Ahenkorah, NPP MP for Tema West, said it was his wish that there was a Renal Dialysis Unit in his Constituency to save his constituents the cost of travelling to seek medical services.
He appealed to the government to give tax exemptions for renal machines and consumable suppliers.