Mubarak Mohammed Muntaka

A member of the Health Committee of Parliament, Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak says the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital’s (KBTH) inability to run and sustain the renal unit must be investigated.

According to him, the health facility might have self-inflicted its debt situation because it wrongly entered into an agreement with a supplier who provided machines and consumables at a cost twice as much as sold on the market.

Speaking on the Midday News on Joy FM, he wondered how it is that Korle Bu could not operate.

“The committee when we took the initiative with our leadership, we realised that Korle Bu went and signed an agreement where the dialysis machine was offered by a manufacturer who signed a contract that they would be the only people to provide the consumables to them [KBTH]. That consumable that they are buying from this supplier is excessively more expensive than when you are buying it from the open market.”

The Asawase MP explained that despite the demand by the Health Committee for the Management to submit documents for review, “Up till date Korle Bu has not (provided them). The question is, why is the government sitting down and allowing individual facilities to be able to sign such a contract without government involvement?

“So as government, we must have a system where no individual facility can go ahead and sign something like this without the Ministry of Health or government knowledge, since that is what has created the problem in Korle Bu.”

He added that, the government did not have a problem disbursing money to support the facility, however, once the government begins to give out money without demanding proper accountability, all other units might also demand funds.

Touching on recommendations for dialysis treatment to be migrated onto the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), he said the scheme was overstressed and was currently surviving on “one- foot”, hence adding the cost of dialysis treatment may not solve the problem.

He added that he did not understand how private facilities could run the dialysis services at an amount of GHȼ500, and yet Korle Bu was insisting that they need about GHȼ900.

Also, medical practitioner Dr Titus Beyuo said the reopening of the hospital’s Renal Unit will lead to further complications in the near future.

The Unit after five-and-half months of closure due to a GHȼ4 million cedis debt, opened to outpatients on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Chief Executive of the NHIS, Dr Bernard Okoe Boye says a five-member committee has been tasked to advise on a long-term solution to renal services.