Ridge Regional Hospital which serves patients in and around Accra might face power cut from the national grid for non-payment of outstanding electricity bill.
This follows the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG’s) threat to cut power supply to the hospital if management fails to pay its outstanding bill of GH¢333,664.18 within seven days.
The ECG further disclosed that failure on the part of the hospital to make arrangements to settle the bill owed them within the said days would force them to take legal action against the hospital.
‘In addition, other debt recovery measures including disconnection of service will be carried out for the full recovery of the arrears,’ a letter signed by the General Manager of the Accra West Region of the ECG, Abdulai Kurah, stated.
Meanwhile, a health facility at Konongo has had its power cut off for non-payment of their electricity bills.
The hospital would, therefore, have to operate without electricity until they settle their bill with the ECG.
The Medical Superintendent of the Ridge Hospital, Dr Obeng Apori, in response to the letter by ECG, which they received about a week ago, said ECG is missing the point in addressing the issue of unpaid bills by government hospitals.
He cautioned ECG to be circumspect in carrying out certain actions since hospitals are high risk institutions which should not be allowed to go without electricity power supply.
He said the hospital does not charge utility tariff since there are no laid down guidelines by stakeholders on the payment of utility by patients, meaning that funds are not available for the payment of electricity bill by the hospital.
Dr Apori explained that the payment of utility of public hospitals was done by government until cabinet decided to move it to the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) responsibility.
However, he said when the change was done; it did not include how the revenue should be collected for the utility bills to be paid.
He said to find a lasting solution to the problem of who pays the electricity bills for public hospitals, stakeholders need to meet to decide who is supposed to pay and how the money should be generated.
‘If we are supposed to pay, they should tell us the consumption pattern per month, so when the bill comes it is segregated and added to the amount spent on fuel to power the generators and divided by the number of people who come to the out-patient department (OPD).
So if every patient will pay GH¢ 5 for coming to the hospital, then at the end of the month that money can be used to pay the electricity bill but until that is done there is no moral right for anybody to threaten us,’ he said.
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri
This article has 0 comment, leave your comment.