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Former President John Dramani Mahama has called for the immediate removal of taxes on medical supplies needed for dialysis treatment in Ghana.
His call follows last week’s announcement of an increment in the cost of dialysis treatment at the Renal Dialysis Unit of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital and the subsequent reversal of the increment by the management the hospital.
The facility increased the cost of the treatment from GH¢380 to GH¢765.
But following public uproar and the revelation that Parliament has not approved the increment in line with all fees and charges that are supposed to be approved by Parliament, the management announced that the increment was a proposal.
Mr Mahama reacting to public discussion described as insensitive the decision by the government to burden patients with high costs of treatment in the wake of the recent economic crisis.
He made the call when he delivered an address at the first Ghana Aging conference and commemoration of the International Day of Older Persons in Accra on Sunday, October 1.
He said his next administration will establish a fund to cater for capital intensive diseases such as diabetes, kidney diseases among others.
“Given the opportunity, we shall bring relief to thousands of our citizens suffering from these ailments.
“The explanation I have read from the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital cites the increase in taxes and duties of materials for dialysis treatment as the main reason for their decision to hike the price by a hundred percent.
As an immediate measure, I call on the government to exempt medication and kits for dialysis treatment from taxes and duties to maintain this critical lifeline for patients whose survival depends on these treatments.”