Ranking Member on Parliament’s Health Committee, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, has accused the government of being callous with the lives of Ghanaians.
His comment follows the recent hike in the cost of kidney dialysis treatment at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital from ₵380 to ₵765.
KBTH’s Public Relations Officer, Mustapha Salifu, explained that this increment is as a result of the high taxes and import duties on consumables.
“The increase is to meet the running cost of the facility. There are a number of items that go into determining the price of it. If we do the real analysis of the cost, you get to about GH¢ 850, but because of certain considerations, that is why we are proposing this GH¢ 765.42 at the moment.”
Government, Mr. Salifu disclosed, has removed the tax exemption on some consumables, hence the need to inflate the price to cover the cost of the service.
He said the motive has never been to make profit from the treatment, but to ensure continuous quality healthcare to patients.
According to him, should the hospital revert to its old price, it may have to shut down the dialysis centre in a matter of days.
The increase in cost may soon be replicated in other regional hospitals across the country.
But speaking on the JoyFM Midday News, Mintah Akandoh urged government to as a matter of urgency restore the tax exemptions on consumables.
According to him, the spike in cost of dialysis as a result of the removal of the tax exemption is unconscionable and unacceptable.
“We are calling on government to, as a matter of urgency, restore the tax exemptions on these regions that have necessitated the astronomical in the cost of dialysis.
“It is quite unconscionable, highly unacceptable, we are talking about health care, we are talking about dialysis, something that you need not less than two or three times within a week, and you’re moving the price from 380 ghana cedis to 765.
“The government is so insensitive to the extent that now we’re pushing people into the grave. How can we do this? How?”
He also indicated that Parliament’s Committee on Health will be engaging stakeholders to find a quick solution to the problem.
“We have spoken to the powers that be, the authorities and we have given clear directives and in hours and days ahead you will see us doing more,” he said.
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