Ministry of Finance (MoF) has given clearance for payment of over 4 million Ghana cedis debt of the Korle Bu Renal Disease Unit.

The move follows a request from the Health ministry for the debt which resulted in closure of the unit to outpatients for the past 6 months. Management of Korle Bu however reopened the unit yesterday after a directive from the health minister.

Addressing Parliament about the development today, minister for health Kwaku Agyeman Manu disclosed his outfit and management of Korle Bu are in negotiations with a South African company, FMC which supplies the unit with consumables for a flexible payment terms in order not to accumulate further debts.

MP for Asawase Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak questioned the basis for the constant accumulation of debt by the Korle Bu Renal unit arguing even private facilities are able to operate within the limitations.

The former minority leader called for immediate review of the contract for the supply of consumables. He also asked for those with capabilities to pay higher NHIS premiums to enjoy premium services such as dialysis treatment.

Minister for Environment, Science and Innovation and former Health Minister Dr. Kwaku Afriyie under whose tenure the National Health Insurance was introduced questioned why the finance minister has been allowed to cap the NHIS fund. According to him the development is unconscionable and immoral. Dr. Afriyie further asked for labour to made to pay more for NHIS to address some of the funding challenges.

Member of Parliament for DBI and a member of the Heath Committee, Dr. Sebastian Sandaare however described the health minister’s statement as hopeless.

According to him, the minister failed to address the critical issue of funding dialysis treatment in the country. Dr. Sandaare also blamed the Korle Bu incident of leadership failure on the part of government.

Speaking to the media after proceedings President of Renal Patients Association Kojo Ahenkora and another member Thomas Cann Mensa lauded the minister over the reopening of the unit at Korle Bu.

They however asked for measures to be rolled out to reduce cost of dialysis in the country.

Source: Ghana/ Alhassan