Home » Government Fails to Coordinate with Health Facilities on Free Dialysis Policy, Says MP

Government Fails to Coordinate with Health Facilities on Free Dialysis Policy, Says MP

Lawmaker Criticizes Government's Approach to Announcing Free Renal Treatment

Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare, a member of the Health Committee of Parliament, has voiced significant concerns regarding the government’s recent announcement of free dialysis treatment for renal patients without prior coordination with health facilities. Her comments come in light of reports from renal patients at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital who stated they were still required to pay for dialysis treatments despite the government’s declaration.

During a discussion on Joy FM’s Top Story on June 7, Ofosu-Adjare emphasized the government’s oversight in failing to communicate and plan effectively with healthcare providers before making such a critical public announcement. “If the government had engaged the management of the health facilities, these problems could have been avoided,” she stated, highlighting the disconnect between the policy’s announcement and its implementation.

The MP pointed out that dialysis is a life-support treatment and noted the financial burdens it imposes on patients and their families. “Dialysis is a life support procedure, and we all know that it is difficult for people to pay. I know there are patients who get help from family; once the announcement is made, people will be reluctant to help them,” Ofosu-Adjare explained. She advocated for better preparation and dialogue with health facilities to establish clear modalities for delivering the treatment free of charge.

In response to the ongoing issues, Ofosu-Adjare revealed that the parliamentary committee has started discussions with the Controller and Accountant General’s Department and other stakeholders to ensure continuous and prompt funding to hospitals offering free renal treatment. This move is part of a broader effort to sustain lives through improved healthcare funding and administration.

Additionally, the Techiman North MP criticized the current allocation of the COVID-19 fund, suggesting that instead of supporting the government’s budget, it should be directed towards enhancing healthcare delivery. “We are still taking the Covid Fund. It should be directed at our health and not to support the government budget because this fund is for health,” she asserted. She further suggested that the government should focus on bolstering the National Health Insurance Authority to ensure comprehensive care for patients requiring dialysis.

On June 3, the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) officially launched a six-month free dialysis support program, set to run from June to December 2024. According to a statement by the National Health Insurance Authority dated June 1, the program categorizes beneficiaries into two groups: vulnerable groups (patients aged below 18 and above 60) and persons aged 18 to 59 years.

This policy initiative is step towards addressing the healthcare needs of renal patients in Ghana. However, the initial implementation challenges emphasize the necessity for better coordination and planning to effectively execute health policies that significantly impact patient care and financial burdens.

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