Cape Coast Hospital Feeding Palaver And Matters Arising

The Times was indeed, stunned by the news that the authorities of the Cape Cost Teaching Hospital have cut down on the feeding of in-patients.

Just as all other Ghanaians, we find this decision by the authorities somehow shocking because, it came without any prior notice or information to the government. This is the first instance of such an action being taken, at least in recent times by a regional or teaching hospital.

As we reported last Friday, the Cape Cost Teaching Hospital says it has been compelled to reduce the three meals served patients at the hospital daily, to two, due to the high cost of living and the meagre fee allocated to the patients.

The patients are being provided breakfast and late lunch at 3 p.m. for the day. There is no supper, even though that is very essential for the patients’ recuperation.

The authorities explained that for some time now, the hospital had been subsidising the GH¢2.60 per day allocated to patients under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), but had realised that the practice was not sustainable.

Therefore, under the new arrangement, families of patients on admission are expected to support the hospital in meeting the nutritional needs of their relatives.

We are deeply concerned about the decision taken, because of the negative impact that it might have on patients and their families.

The fact is, most of the patients are financially burdened, that is why they have to join the National Health Insurance Scheme,  and to force them while they are sick, to provide food for themselves is likely to worsen their plight.

It is true that times are hard, and we know also that the government is currently facing financial challenges, and therefore, unable to make some statutory payments to some state organisations.

We wish to state though, that the decision is a bad one and must be abandoned immediately.

The hospital and the government owe it as an obligation to the people, to provide the best health care as much as possible.

Feeding patients twice a day, may bring about challenges for patients  on medication and need to take drugs throughout the day and night.

Most  patients on health insurance are not from families which can provide them with food, and they may succumb to illness and die.

We urge the government to step in and support the hospital with the needed funding to enable it to continue to provide three meals for the patients.

Our hospitals must not become graveyards, instead of facilities for health care.


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