Mampong: Over 400 patients abscond with unpaid bills

The Asante Mampong Government Hospital is losing huge sums of money as patients treated at the facility abscond without settling their bills.

Though figures on extent of revenue loss are not readily available, authorities say over 400 out and in-patients disappeared without paying their bills in the first quarter of this year alone.

They are said to have acted allegedly in connivance with some officials at the hospital.

The Mampong Government Hospital has had its share of delayed payment of insurance claims by the Health Insurance Authority, as well as capitation challenges.

The hospital faces high administrative and operational costs as it serves thousands of clients in its vast catchment area.

In the midst of such challenges, even patients who can afford the cost of treatment will refuse to redeem themselves and find a way to outwit authorities.

In the first three months of this year 358 out-patients and 63 on admission escaped without paying for cost of treatment.

Hospital authorities suspect some staff connive with patients and their relatives to dupe the hospital for which investigations are on-going.

A frustrated Medical Superintendent, Dr. Kwadwo Nyarko-Jectey told Nhyira FM the situation was impacting negatively on their finances.

“A lot of patients do abscond. If I should show you documents showing the number of people who abscond; you would be amazed. And there are even people who may be covered by insurance… They may even manage to abscond with their folder, which means that even though they are insured, we lose that kind of money. So certainly we are losing so, so much by way of this attitude.” Dr Nyarko-Jectey complained.

Another worrying trend he noted, is when patients deliberately leave their National Health Insurance cards at home but will insist on free treatment.

This comes at the backdrop of a convenient payment system which allows a person in the community with a surety to justify an ample time to pay the cost of treatment in instalments.

Management has been exploring ways of plugging revenue leakages, using sanctions against conniving staff as a deterrent.

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