Second Deputy Speaker Of Ghana’s 8th Parliament of the Fourth Republic, Andrew Asiamah Amoako has summoned the Minister responsible for Health Kwaku Agyemang Manu to come brief parliament on Thursday, November 9, 2023, on the persistent closure of the Renal Unit’s outpatient department at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital and the upsurge of kidney related issues in Ghana.

Kidney-related problems the speaker stated are the talk of the town in recent times hence the minister should brief the house, coupled with NHIS capturing the cost of such disease treatment.

The summon however came about upon an official statement delivered by Hon. Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, MP for Juaboso and Ranking Member on the Parliamentary Select Committee on Health on the Prolonged Closure of Korle Bu Teaching Hospital’s Renal Unit Outpatient Department and dialysis costs brouhaha.

According to Mr. Akandoh, as of now, there has been no official communication as to whether the duties paid to expedite the clearing of dialysis medical consumables have been refunded. But even more interesting is the fact that the hospital owes suppliers of dialysis consumables about GHS4.0 million, which is making it very difficult for the hospital to secure these consumables.

“Mr. Speaker, GHS4.0 million cedis should not be the reason for which many Ghanaian men, women, and children are denied critical dialysis treatment. Whatever financial bottlenecks are warranting the continuous closure of the dialysis center should not be countenanced by the government, neither this house,” he said

Other government hospitals the Juaboso legislator expressed continue to provide dialysis services at the old rate of GHS380, with some even offering the same service at a lower fee of GHS350. This glaring inconsistency raises serious concerns about the commitment of the government to resolving this issue. If, indeed, Korle Bu Teaching Hospital paid duties for dialysis medical consumables, and the government is unwilling to reimburse these costs, the situation demands immediate clarification and resolution.

“Mr. Speaker, although government hospitals enjoy tax waivers on the import of dialysis medical consumables, private hospitals and clinics offering dialysis do not enjoy the same tax regimes. Patients seeking dialysis services out of Korle Bu are, therefore, confronted with high prices, some two or three times the fees they have to pay for dialysis at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.” he further added

He went on to disclose that the Minister for Health in a meeting with a section of the Minority MPs on the 13th of October assured that plans were far advanced to have the center reopened soon. Unfortunately, this “soon” seems to last longer than anticipated.

Fast forward, he pleaded with the house to rally behind him in calling on the government to consider absorbing the full cost of dialysis for Ghanaian patients or at the very least absorb whatever the difference between the GHS380.

This he stated will help alleviate the financial strain on patients and ensure their timely access to life-saving dialysis treatment.


The initial cause of the facility’s closure was attributed to a scarcity of essential medical consumables required for dialysis. When dialysis medical consumables were finally procured, the service saw an unprecedented increase in fees from GHS380 to GHS765.42.

The Hospital’s Public Relations Officer (PRO) had explained to the general public that this alarming price adjustment was a result of the government’s withdrawal of tax exemptions, leaving the hospital burdened with the full cost of importing vital medical consumables for dialysis, leading to unexpected financial strain. The hospital, therefore, had no option but to increase dialysis fees to cover part of the cost and render the service sustainable in the long run.

However, a subsequent statement by the hospital’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) on Good Morning Ghana on the 28th of September 2023 is said to have contradicted the PRO’s explanation. According to the CEO, the tax exemptions were still in effect, but the hospital opted to pay the duties to expedite the clearing of these medical consumables and avoid incurring demurrage charges which may exceed the required duties.

By: Mary Quartey


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