Renal patients to receive treatment subsidy by end of year – Dr Okoe-Boye

Persons suffering kidney diseases are to receive some form of subsidy in the treat­ment of dialysis by the end of this year, the Minister of Health designate, Dr Bernard Okoe-Boye, has said.

He promised to lead discussions with National Health Insurance Authority and Health Committee in Parliament to ensure that renal patients are put on the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), to reduce the burden of dialysis treatment.

Okoe Boye
Okoe Boye

Dr Okoe-Boye, also the Presi­dent’s Representative with Over­sight Responsibility for the minis­try, which is in line with Article 58 of the 1992 Constitution, disclosed this when he paid a working visit to the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) in Accra, on Monday.

The visit was to inspect some key health projects and interven­tions by the government at the KBTH and acquaint himself with the management and staff of the hospital.

Accompanied by the manage­ment and some senior staff of the ministry, Dr Okoe-Boye was taken round by a team led by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the hospital, Dr Opoku Ware Ampo­mah.

The facilities visited included the Fevers Unit which had been trans­formed into a modern infectious disease centre and the Urology and Nephrology Centre of Excellence.

Dr Okoe Boye said the cost of dialysis treatment at the KBTH was expensive due to some agreement the hospital had with the supplying company on the dialysis machine.

“That arrangement had made dialysis very expensive, but it is be­cause KBTH has very good health workers, patients prefer treatment at Korle Bu than elsewhere even if it is at the cheapest,” he added.

Dr Okoe-Boye indicated that, the ministry was working with the KBTH CEO to engage the parent company in Germany to renego­tiate the contract so that it would bring down the cost.

He said the newly constructed €38 million Urology and Nephrol­ogy Centre of Excellence equipped with ultra-modern machines, would ease pressure on the hospital’s current dialysis centre and improve access to dialysis facilities and services for kidney patients.

“This facility here is going to have a nephrology or dialysis wing with over 30 machines to serve the patients and it’s going to be replicated in other regions as well,” he added.

He reiterated government’s committment to improving the healthcare system in the country, stating that, by the third quarter of the year, the government was going to pilot a booking system to mini­mise the number of hours patients spent at the hospital.

The CEO of KBTH, Dr Opoku Ware Ampomah, commended the minister-designate for the visit and outlined some strategic plan the hospital had instituted, as part of its 100th anniversary.

He highlighted four thematic areas guiding the hospital’s strategic direction, namely: stakeholder satis­faction, financial stewardship, inter­nal processes, and capacity building to serve as the cornerstone for the hospital’s five-year development plan, to enhance service delivery as a premier healthcare institution.

While expressing the hospi­tal’s commitment to delivering high-quality care to all patients, Dr Ampomah said high cost of inputs, staff attrition, space for stroke and stroke rehabilitation, as well as insufficient staff accommodation were some of the challenges, and appealed to the minister-designate to help resolve them


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