The Ridge Hospital, Accra, is allegedly charging its patients an amount of GH¢ 0.50 as a fee for their use of toiletries and detergent at the toilet facility of the hospital, DAILY GUIDE has learnt.
The hospital is also charging its patients and members of the general public who use its urinal facility a fee of GH¢ 0.20.
‘Fees charged are for toiletries and detergent only and not for the use of the washroom facilities please,’ according to a public notice pasted inside the washroom of the hospital.
These came to the notice of DAILY GUIDE after complaints, made by some Nigerian nationals (names withheld), who could not fathom why their sick relative who visited the hospital was being charged GH¢ 0.20 for using the hospital’s urinal facility to get her urine for a laboratory test that was to be conducted for her as was required by the hospital.
They had complained to DAILY GUIDE that even though they had paid for the laboratory test for their relative who was rushed to the hospital after she reportedly collapsed on campus in Accra, they were denied access to the urinal by the caretaker until they were made to pay the said amount even though their relative was under a critical condition.
They had also complained about negligence at the hospital.
This was after their relative who was reportedly suffering from pneumonia was allegedly made to sit in a wheel-chair outside at the outpatient department (OPD) for treatment throughout the night despite the critical nature of her condition as at the time she was taken to the facility.
‘It’s hard to imagine that a person suffering from severe pneumonia was made to sit outside in that kind of cold throughout that night with infusions on her hand and the only excuse the hospital had to give us was that there was no bed available for her,’ a friend to the sick Nigerian student told DAILY GUIDE .
However, the Medical Director of Ridge Hospital, Dr Obeng-Apori, reacting to the complaints in an interview with DAILY GUIDE indicated that the fees were being charged to enable the hospital to raise money to purchase toiletries and detergents for the facility.
He also mentioned that part of the money raised from the charges was used to pay the caretakers of the facilities to ensure that they (facilities) are kept clean at all times.
In a related development, some hospitals across the country, particularly the Kumasi South Hospital at Atonsu Agogo in the Ashanti Region, are reportedly charging their patients GH¢3 as special fuel levy to power their generators due to the current erratic power supply.
No Cash Syndrome
All of the aforementioned developments within the country’s health sector, DAILY GUIDE has observed, have been as a result of the no cash syndrome that has crept into nearly all sectors of the ailing Ghanaian economy.
BY Melvin Tarlue
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