The Ministry of Health has called out the management of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital for unlawfully increasing the charges for dialysis sessions without obtaining the necessary approvals.
Kidney failure patients seeking treatment at the hospital’s Renal Unit have been subject to the new fee, prompting the Health Ministry to summon the hospital’s management to account for their actions.
The public outcry began when reports emerged of a revision in the dialysis charges at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital.
Isaac Offei Baah, the Public Relations Officer of the Ministry of Health, expressed his disappointment when speaking on Citi FM.
He labeled the fee revision as “illegal” since it has not been approved by the ministry or Parliament.
Baah further explained the proper protocol for implementing any changes in fees, stating that a proposal must first be raised and discussed at the management level of Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital. If an agreement is reached, it is then forwarded to the Ministry of Health for consideration and, if approved, to Parliament for final authorization. However, in this case, none of these steps were followed.
Acknowledging the breach in procedure, the CEO of Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Dr. Opoku Ware Ampomah, admitted that the ministry had not been informed and the charges had not been confirmed. This admission has raised concerns over how the fee was being enforced without proper approval.
Consequently, the Health Ministry has instructed Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital to immediately cease charging patients the new fee and revert to the previous charges. The hospital’s management has also been summoned for a negotiation session, where they will be required to justify their actions and explain the necessity for the fee increase at this critical juncture.
The Ministry of Health has refrained from disclosing the exact number of patients who have been subjected to the illegal charges.
Isaac Offei Baah urged affected patients not to pay the new fee but to insist on being charged the previous amount until further communication is issued.
Dr. Opoku Ware Ampomah, the CEO of Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, claimed that only six patients had been subjected to the new fee.
The accuracy of this statement will likely be scrutinized in the forthcoming negotiations with the Health Ministry.
By Vincent Kubi