The shut down of the Renal Dialysis Unit at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) to outpatients since May 2023 has been causing a lot of financial inconveniences to the outpatients, the Renal Patients Association has said.
Following that, a total of 14 outpatients have reportedly died because they could not raise the needed funding for dialysis at private facilities, the Renal Patients Association has alleged.
According to the association, the deaths were caused by the patients’ inability to access dialysis treatment at private facilities, which they say charges more than what is charged at Korle Bu for the treatment offered.
The Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in May 2023 shut down the Renal Unit to outpatients even though in-patients have access to the facility.
The reason for the shut down to outpatients was that there was a delay in the delivery of some consumables.
At a press conference in Accra on Monday [October 2, 2023], a spokesperson for the Renal Patients Association, Michael Asante said “As we speak, the renal unit has been closed since 22 May 2023 up to date to outpatients.”
He added that “Patients have gone through turbulent times as we struggle to finance our dialysis treatment at private dialysis centres across the centres. Unfortunately, during this shutdown period, we have lost about 14 of our friends…This has left the rest of us living in constant fear for our tomorrow. This is because we do not know who among us will be next to lose their lives needlessly.”
He, therefore, appealed to the government to waive the costs of dialysis treatment for renal patients and to include these cases in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).