A memo document sighted by DAILY GUIDE reveals the sale of selected non-drug consumables that took effect on January 16, 2017 which seeks to direct patients to purchase almost everything for their treatment at the special pharmacy and the CSSD, making no exemption for NHIS card bearers.
From the memo, a client must pay cash for almost everything for the procedure before he/she is taken through the surgery. The person actually pays more than 100 percent and in some instances pays up to five times more than the original price of the item on the ‘open market’.
It also means that shortages of any consumable in the middle of a surgical procedure would require a pause for the client and his relatives to buy the item before the procedure to continue.
For about three years, anaesthetic assessment has ranged from within GH₵11- GH₵25 per patient, an amount which is paid by patients regardless one’s status as an NHIS card holder.
Information gathered reveals that the charges sre to remunerate ansesthetist in the facility, but the paper understands that not all patients who go through anaesthetic assessment go through surgical operation.
The Tamale Teaching Hospital is a referral centre for the Upper East, Upper West which is located in one of the poorest regions in the country, whilst serving almost all the three poorest regions.
There are accusations by residents that after the unsuccessfully desperate attempts to “sell” off the laboratory to a private company, the Chief Executive Officer Dr Akanbong had pushed through the back door unreasonable tariffs in the name of sustaining the laboratory.
They indicated that all laboratory investigations requested from the out-patients department must be paid for regardless of one’s status as an NHIS card bearer.
“You either pay cash or you have your prescribed request not done, so you either pay, or you die on the hospital bed,” some residents added.
A member of the Coalition for Change in Government Institutions, Mohammed Issah, told DAILY GUIDE that the move was a deliberate attempt to implement a full cost recovery on medical services in the facility.
According to him, it further infers a looter policy where clients will, and justifiably so may just be paying twice for the same service they require.
He, therefore, called on stakeholders, chiefs and civil society organizations to return some sanity to the cherished hospital, adding, “We must wake up today or we perish in our supposed health facility tomorrow.”
The management of the hospital has been given an ultimatum of 24 hours to withdraw the new policy or face the wrath of the group in the coming days, reiterating that they would not allow the current perceived corrupt and palpably incompetent management to toil with the health of the people in the north.
Efforts by the paper to reach authorities of the Tamale Teaching Hospital to comment on the issue proved futile.
FROM Eric Kombat, Tamale