Dialysis crisis: 14 patients dead due to lack of funds

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The Renal Patients Association of Ghana, comprised of individuals with kidney conditions, has disclosed that fourteen of its members passed away between May and September while at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.

The association attributed this to a shortage of consumables at the facility, resulting in a limitation of dialysis services to only emergency cases.

During a press conference held in Accra, Michael Asante, a patient and member, expressed how this situation has instilled constant fear of death among many of them.

Mr Asante explained that the unit has been closed to outpatients since 22nd May 2023.

“Up to date, patients have gone through turbulent times as we struggle to finance our dialysis treatment at private dialysis centres across the city. Unfortunately, during this shutdown period, we have lost about 14 of our friends…This has left the rest of us living in constant fear for our tomorrow. This is because we do not know who among us will be next to lose their lives needlessly”, he said on Monday, October 2.

This follows the outcry that followed reports of increased the cost of dialysis per session for persons with kidney conditions by over 100% at the hospital.

Following that, a total of 14 outpatients have reportedly died because they could not raise the needed funding for dialysis at private facilities, the Renal Patients Association has alleged.

According to the association, the deaths were caused by the patients’ inability to access dialysis treatment at private facilities, which they say charges more than what is charged at Korle Bu for the treatment offered.

The Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in May 2023 shut down the Renal Unit to outpatients even though in-patients have access to the facility.

The reason for the shut down to outpatients was that there was a delay in the delivery of some consumables.

A spokesperson for the Renal Patients Association, Michael Asante appealed to the government to waive the costs of dialysis treatment for renal patients and to include these cases in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

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