Korle-Bu ponders ICU shutdown over intensive debts

Officials of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital are considering closing down the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) because of lack of funds.

Chief Executive Officer of the hospital, Gilbert Buckle told Joy FM’s Kojo Yankah the cost of running the unit has become hugely unbearable.

It costs every patient ¢1,000 per day to seek health care at the unit, a cost many patients cannot afford.

As a result, the unit is suffocating under a ¢500,000 debt owed by the patients.

“Technically we should have closed it [ICU] down yesterday,” Gilbert Yankah admitted but added they kept it opened, at least for the sake of patients.

The ICU treats emergency as well as specialised cases and is so crucial to the survival of the hospital.

The hospital is considering many options to raise funds, including the imposition of either a one or five cedis levy on patients .

Buckle said they will go through the necessary legal procedures before any such financial imposition will be implemented.

Sympathising with the dire financial position of Korle-Bu, the Member of Parliament for Obuasi West Kweku Kwarteng wondered why it has become so difficult for the country’s premier hospital to run smoothly.

He did not understand why a health policy-NHIS- would be in place and yet hospitals including Korle-Bu will be struggling to keep up with the day-to-day  administration.

Commenting on the proposed levy to be introduced, Kweku Kwarteng said the hospital must follow due process of the law before introducing any such levy.

He said it would be chaotic if institutions decided, on their own to impose levies by themselves without resort to Parliament.

He would rather Korle-Bu shuts down and put pressure on government to be alive to its responsibilities than have the hospital impose levies without following due process.  

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