Gov’t should have engaged health facilities before announcing free renal treatment – MP

A Member of the Health Committee of Parliament, Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare, has said the government should have liaised with health facilities to draw up a plan for providing free dialysis treatment to renal patients before making the official announcement.

Her comments follow concerns by some renal patients at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital that they still pay for dialysis treatment because the government has not officially communicated the directive to the hospital to stop demanding payment.

Speaking on Joy FM’s Top Story on June 7, she said that if the government had engaged the management of the health facilities, these problems could have been avoided.

She agreed with criticisms that the preparation towards the announcement was poor.

“You see dialysis is a life support procedure and we all know that it is difficult for people to pay. I know there are patients who get help from family, once the announcement is made people will be reluctant to help them. So, I am also of the opinion that the preparation should have been adequate. There should have been a discussion with the health facilities as the modalities for the procedure to be done free of charge,” she said.

Madam Ofosu-Adjare said that to ensure the continuous and prompt payment of funds to hospitals providing free renal treatment, the committee has begun engaging the Controller and Accountant General’s Department and other stakeholders to ensure that lives are sustained.

Meanwhile, the Techiman North MP suggested that the COVID-19 fund instituted by the government should be directed towards healthcare delivery rather than supporting government budgets.

“…We are still taking the Covid Fund. It should be directed at our health and not to support government budget because this fund is for health …

“I am of the opinion that government should be looking at funding the National Health Insurance Authority and so we should look at funding so that these people can be catered for,” she said.

On June 3, the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) announced the commencement of a six-month free dialysis support programme for renal patients from June to December 2024.

The support, as explained in a statement issued by the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) dated June 1, noted that beneficiaries of the dialysis programme have been divided into two categories – Vulnerable groups [patients aged below 18 and above 60] and persons aged 18 to 59 years, .

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