Research Fellow at the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), Dr Kwame Sarpong Asiedu, has called for a broader stakeholder engagement on the current dialysis crisis rather than the ad-hoc approach adopted.

According to him, the government’s short-term approach to addressing the issues relating to end-stage kidney patients was unsustainable, and if care is not taken, the renal centre would be worse off.

Speaking on JoyNews’ The Pulse on May 15, he said “The NHIA must find a way of funding itself but it must come with adequate funding otherwise if they do not have adequate funding, what is going to happen is that they will fail to pay the providers and the providers will then not be able to provide a service on the NHIS.

“We need to have a broader conversation around chronic disease generally in Ghana and how we fund our health system because if we have that broader conversation and we have the funding priorities right, we would not be having these spot conversation.

“Today is renal dialysis, I know there are issues when it comes to chemotherapy in cancer, there are issues elsewhere. We do not need to be firefighting. We need to have a broader conversation and put our health system on a better footing,” he said.

His comments follow the revelation by the Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Dr Aboagye Da-Costa, that his outfit will commence its intended support for dialysis treatment on June 1.

Speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show on Wednesday, May 15, Dr Da-Costa noted that the support would be implemented for the next six months.

This initiative follows the approval of GH₵2 million by Parliament to assist patients requiring dialysis in various parts of the country.

But, Dr Sarpong argues that this approach is unsustainable, stressing the need for the government to set its priorities right.

“That is why, I am trying to say that we know our problems, we just don’t prioritise them because they do not drive roads and the thing I keep telling everybody is when you get renal disease and you get to end-stage, no one cares whether you are NPP or NDC or CPP. You will face the music yourself

“So you need to be having a conversation that encompasses a health crisis but what do you do? If you went on social media now and you put this up, you will see us divide ourselves long party lines arguing and that is why we are not solving our problem,” he said.

He advised that until Ghanaians put aside politicisation, it would be challenging to hold government accountable.

“…and therefore we do not put them under pressure. So they get away with digging pits and saying that you will pay allawa [sic] in two years because that is what people will shout about not the fact that every child dies when they get renal pain that is not a priority,” he added.