Relatives abandon woman, 72, at hospital

A 72-year-old patient discharged from the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, a fortnight ago, is still on ‘admission’ at the hospital.

This is because her children and relatives have refused to settle her medical bill of GH¢800, to enable her to be taken home, describing her as a burden.

Mercy Frimpomaa, of Juaso in the Asante Akyem South District of the Ashanti Region, lamented her situation to officials of the Social Welfare Department and the press, during a tour of the hospital wards.

She was admitted in December 2014.

Other paupers owing the hospital are Jacob Anorya, 36, a native of Bolgatanga, Upper East, who owes GH¢183, Baafi Alex, 18, from Sefwi Wiawso in the Western Region with a bill of GH¢972, while Agyemang Angola, 32, from Antoa Ahodwo in the Kwabre East District of the Ashanti Region has a GH¢319 bill to settle.

The Ghanaian Times on February 13, 2015, carried a story headlined ‘KATH authorities in dilemma, paupers occupy wards for free meals’.

In the story the Chief Executive of the hospital, Dr Joseph Akpaloo, expressed concern about paupers whose continuous stay at the hospital had contributed to congestion at the hospital.

According to him, about 30 of such paupers some with bills between GH¢30,000 and GH¢70,000 were sent home to make room for others, but some returned to the wards taking advantage of the free meals offered patients by the hospital.

He told Mr Peter Osei, head of the hospital’s Social Welfare Department that, most of those paupers were burns and surgery patients whose bills were huge.

He noted that most of them had not registered with the National Health Insurance Scheme, thus compounding their predicament.

He said his outfit had been assisting the paupers particularly, the children among them.

Mr. Osei expressed worry at the increase in child abandonment at the hospital, noting that about a week ago, 10 of such little babies were sent to children’s homes, as their mothers had left them behind.

He appealed to the public to take advantage of the NHIS, and register for their own benefit.

From Kingsley E. Hope, Kumasi

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