Home » Okoe Boye Calls for Tax Cuts on Dialysis Supplies

Okoe Boye Calls for Tax Cuts on Dialysis Supplies

Advocates Easing Renal Treatment Costs, Boosting Healthcare

by Adenike Adeodun

Dr. Bernard Okoe Boye, the nominee for the Health Minister position, recently underscored the need for significant policy reforms in Ghana’s healthcare sector, specifically targeting the financial burdens associated with dialysis treatment. In his appearance before the Appointments Committee of Parliament for vetting, Dr Okoe Boye made a compelling case for the removal of taxes on dialysis consumables. This move, he argued, would alleviate the “enormous burden” faced by individuals undergoing renal treatment, a pressing issue given the critical nature of such care.

The cost of dialysis consumables, which includes a variety of medical necessities required for each session, currently stands at €100, approximately GH¢1,600, accounting for a substantial 30 percent of the overall expenses borne by patients. Considering that individuals with kidney ailments typically require two to three dialysis sessions per week, the financial strain can be overwhelming. Dr Okoe Boye’s advocacy for tax exemptions on these essential consumables reflects a broader commitment to making healthcare more accessible and affordable for Ghanaians, particularly those battling chronic conditions.

The nominee also proposed that the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) should extend its support to tertiary and secondary hospitals providing dialysis treatment. This suggestion indicates a strategic approach to healthcare financing and insurance coverage, aiming to broaden the scope of services covered by the NHIS and, by extension, reduce the out-of-pocket expenses for patients.

Furthermore, Dr Okoe Boye addressed the Agenda 111 project, an ambitious initiative by the Ghanaian government to significantly enhance healthcare infrastructure across the country. Despite concerns raised by members of the Health Committee of Parliament regarding the disbursement of funds for the project, with only GH¢251 million of the GH¢1.7 billion of earmarked funds released, Dr Okoe Boye expressed optimism about the project’s progress. He highlighted that 50 facilities are currently under development, with a target of completing at least 40 by the end of the year. This reflects a keen focus on strengthening Ghana’s health sector infrastructure, promising to improve service delivery and accessibility.

The discussion also turned to the La General Hospital, with Dr. Okoe Boye defending the government’s decision to demolish the facility, citing safety concerns. Having worked at the hospital, he shared firsthand experiences of the building’s deteriorating condition, which posed a significant risk to both staff and patients. The government’s commitment to reconstructing the facility underscores its dedication to ensuring safe and conducive environments for healthcare delivery.

Dr Okoe Boye’s advocacy for removing taxes on dialysis consumables and his insights on improving Ghana’s healthcare infrastructure through initiatives like Agenda 111 and the reconstruction of the La General Hospital reflects a comprehensive vision for the health sector. These proposals, if implemented, have the potential to significantly impact the lives of Ghanaians, making essential medical treatments more accessible and enhancing the quality of healthcare services across the nation. With a focus on reducing the financial burden on patients, expanding insurance coverage, and upgrading healthcare facilities, Dr. Okoe Boye’s tenure as Health Minister could mark a pivotal shift towards a more inclusive, efficient, and patient-centered healthcare system in Ghana.

Source: Graphic Online

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