Patients at Kumasi South Hospital charged electricity fees to keep hospital running

Managers of the Kumasi South hospital are charging patients between GHȻ3 and GHȻ5 as electricity fees in a bid to prevent the hospital from collapsing due to erratic power supply.

Both insured and uninsured patients patronising the hospital are made to pay the amount before they are attended to.

Some patients who spoke to Luv FM’s Erastus Asare Donkor said the fees are unreasonable.

“If you take a card, you are made to pay 50p for photocopy. Then you are made to pay GHÈ»3.00 for receipt because they want to buy fuel for their generator…even when they give you an ACT [Artemisinin-based Combination Therapy] drug, you pay GHÈ»6.00 for it. They also took GHÈ»10.00 for an injection. So which of the malaria drugs does the NHIS cover”, one lamented.

Management of the facility said the levies are the only way to keep vital machines and normal healthcare delivery running.

Patients who do not comply with the measures are left unattended to.

Head of Finance at the facility, Richard Appiah said the levy will augment excessive expenses incurred by the hospital.

“The kind of expenditure we are making, if we don’t do something to cushion us, we will not be able to buy fuel to power the generators.

“The only alternative is to shut down the generators when the power goes off but what will happen is that we can’t provide services to the patients when they come,” he added.

To avoid the loss of lives due to the erratic power supply, the hospital thought it wise to levy some of the services in order to make ends meet, Mr Appiah said.

The Regional Hospital which serves several hospitals in the Ashanti Region owes the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) GHȻ308,629 and spends GHȻ20,000 on electricity monthly.

An additional average of GHȻ30,000 is spent on fueling two power generators.

The facility’s major source of income is the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), but claims owed the hospital by the Scheme have not been paid for four months totaling GHÈ»1,125, 414.

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