Korle Bu reopens Renal Unit
The Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) has reopened the Renal Unit for the treatment of kidney and other related diseases to outpatients.
The reopening last Monday gives hope to many people living with various kidney conditions due to the hospital’s comparatively lower charges.
The unit was closed to outpatients on May 22, 2023 due to increasing operational costs and debts.
On behalf of the management, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the hospital, Mustapha Salifu, told the Daily Graphic yesterday, that the reopening followed engagements with the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu.
“The ministry is working closely with the management of the hospital to offset the GH¢4 million debt occasioned by the cost under recoveries”.
“We call on Parliament to expedite action on the proposed new fees and charges to enable us to recover the cost and sustain service to our cherished patients,” he said.
Mr Salifu said the facility was committed to offering quality and affordable service to patrons at all times.
In September this year, there was a notice purported to have emanated from the hospital circulating on some social media handles, indicating an increase in the cost of renal dialysis at the facility.
The notice, which was written in capital letters, read: "Cost of dialysis has been increased from GH¢380 to GH¢765.42. Thank You. Head of unit."
Although the management of the hospital came out to say that the notice was only a proposal but was not being implemented, the Daily Graphic sighted official receipts of some patrons of the unit indicating that the proposed fees had been operationalised.
Management also launched internal investigations into how the proposed cost was charged patients when Parliament had not approved it.
Mr Salifu commended individuals, corporate bodies and philanthropists who had over the years supported the hospital in providing life-saving treatment to patients.
“It is our hope that other stakeholders and benefactors will also come on board to support to prevent a recurrence of the challenges that led to the suspension of dialysis service to outpatients,” he said.
A source close to the Renal Unit who spoke to the Daily Graphic on condition of anonymity explained that the unit had since the reopening called all its regular outpatients to inform them about the development.
They had been asked to come for request forms to carry out some laboratory checks to facilitate the resumption of their treatment at the facility.
It added that the place was no more crowded with people waiting for their turn because the unit had adopted the mode of appointment.
“Therefore, patients come here only when it is an emergency or they have an appointment to avoid the inconvenience of long waiting times,” it said.
The Daily Graphic sighted a couple of in-patients on the dialysis machine, including a minor who was in school uniform.
Parliament has directed Mr Agyeman-Manu to appear before it tomorrow (November 9, 2023) to brief the House on the closure of the Outpatient Department Renal Unit of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) and the upsurge in kidney-related problems in Ghana.
The directive came after the Ranking Member on the Committee on Health, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, presented a statement on the prolonged closure of the KBTH’s Renal Unit Outpatient Department.