The Renal unit of Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, which had been closed for the past six months to out patients, has reopened its doors to them.

The Unit’s closure was due to indebtedness to suppliers of dialysis consumables amounting to over 4 million cedis.

On Monday, November 6, 2023, management of the hospital failed to open the Out Patients Department (OPD) despite a directive the Ministry of Health to do so.

However, Starr News has gathered outpatients are being contacted by the facility to schedule their dialysis sessions. President of the Renal Patients Association, Kojo Baffour Ahenkorah, confirmed the reopening, expressing relief that the unit is operational again.

According to him dialysis patients, who had been eagerly awaiting this moment, flocked to the hospital early this morning to pick up their lab request forms after receiving calls from the facility. Baffour revealed that most patients would have their lab tests conducted today, with dialysis treatments set to commence as early as tomorrow November 8, 2023.

“I received a call yesterday around 2 pm that I need to come in and pick up the lab request form because it’s been some 5 months now since it was closed to us. So they want to know our status and our combination,” he told Starr News Naa Dedei Tettey on the Starr Midday News
He continued, “this morning, most of them(renal patients) have come in here to pick up the request forms for the lab. I myself am at Korlebu, on the dialysis premises, coming for my lab request form. I think most of them will get the lab done today, so from tomorrow, we can start to have our dialysis treatment.” Mr. Baffuor Ahenkorah said

Despite the joyous reopening, concerns loom over the future of the Renal unit. Mr. Baffuor Ahenkorah, while appreciating the efforts to reopen the unit, stressed the urgency of settling the outstanding debt owed by the government. The Unit’s closure was due to indebtedness to suppliers of dialysis consumables amounting to over 4 million cedis. Mr. Baffuor Ahenkorah, emphasized that failure to clear the debt might lead to another closure of the unit in the near future.

“It is welcoming news, we thank them and we appreciate them that they heard our cries and at least they listened to us. But the question is… we hope they don’t close it again because, per the information we are getting, if the government does not settle the debt they said they are owing, the reopening that they have done within two weeks’ time will be closed again,” Baffour Ahenkorah stated.

He pleaded with the government to settle the debt promptly, ensuring the sustained operation of the Renal unit. Baffour also highlighted a critical issue faced by the unit – the inadequacy of dialysis machines. Currently, there are only 15 machines available to cater to both outpatients and inpatients, posing a significant challenge to meeting the demands of the patients.

“We appeal to the government to settle debt so it (Renal Unit) can’t close again and once that is done consumables can come in. And one thing that we also appeal is that, as at now per our status quo we don’t have enough machines, the machines we have are 15 and the out patients and in patients are coming to us it, it can’t hold us . So as they are looking at the consumables that we will be using they should look at the machines if they can get us more machines to take care of us, it will be fine,” Baffour Ahenkorah emphasized.

Source: Ghana/ Dedei Tettey