Discharged paupers return to KATH for free meals

Komfo Anokye HospitalThe authorities of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), in Kumasi, are in a big dilemma as paupers who have been treated and discharged have refused to leave.

Even though they owe, in some cases, between GH¢30,000 and GH¢70,000, the hospital authorities decided to discharge them to create space for others, but they always sneaked back because of the free meals offered.

Dr. Joseph Akpaloo, Chief Executive of KATH, disclosed this during a media interaction to introduce himself formally as the new head of the hospital on Wednesday.

He said, “Anytime these patients are sent away they find some means to return, as they have taken advantage of the daily three square meals served,” adding that barely a week ago, about 30 of them were sent away but some had already returned.

The situation, the Chief Executive said, had not only worsened the problem of congestion at the hospital, but “it is becoming very difficult to feed them as we are cash strapped”.

On referral of patients to the KATH, the Chief Executive appealed to the peripheral hospitals not to wait for the situation to get complicated before rushing in the patients, since it creates problems.

He said the government is working feverishly towards the completion of the maternity and children’s block which is about 85 per cent complete, stressing that the authorities are also in talks with some donor agencies to raise some funds towards the completion of the project.

The project which started in 1976 was abandoned afterwards, but was reactivated in 1999.

When completed, the three tower -seven -floor building with 950 beds and state of the art facilities, would manage any child and mother condition.

Dr. Akpaloo said, plans are advanced to construct a hostel for relatives who visit their patients to enable them feel at home.

He pledged to run an open and inclusive administration “so that together we can further improve the image of KATH as a model tertiary healthcare institution in West Africa”.

From Kingsley E. Hope, Kumasi

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