Surfline Communications on Tuesday settled huge medical expenses of patients, who been detained in the Korle-Bu Teaching and the Tema General hospitals for non-payment of bills.
Most patients found in the children, maternity and paediatric wards were asked to pay bills ranging from GH₵ 250 to a little over GH₵ 900 but they could not afford and were therefore kept by the hospital authorities for weeks.
The patients heaved sigh of relief, with some sharing tears, when Surfline Marketing Director, Ms Rosy Fyn presented cheques totalling GH₵ 25,771.71 to defray the medical bills.
Six patients in the Tema General Hospital and 21 at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital benefitted from the gesture and are now set to reunite with their families to celebrate the New Year festivities.
Ms Fyn told journalists the company was looking forward to extend the support to cover more patients and wards in the coming years.
She said her outfit valued human resource development as a means to speed up the development process of the nation and therefore pays particular attention to health, education and Information Communication Technology (ICT).
“We are going to focus our social corporate responsibility heavily in education and ICT in the coming year and of course health is very important to us and as the only wholly Ghanaian owned communication company we value health of the people,” she added.
Mr Kombian Kambarin, Deputy Director of Administration at Korle-Bu said many of the patients have very poor social and economic backgrounds that sometimes compel hospital authorities to waive off some the cost or adjust the payment period to about two to three months.
He noted that the hospital does not take delight in keeping patients after discharging them but the challenge is that almost all medicines are purchased which needs to be recovered.
“Keeping them [patients] here is not our business but virtually all medicines are paid for and we have to recoup the cost,” he said.
Narrating her experience a 13-year-old, class six pupil [name withheld] who has been kept in the Tema General Hospital for weeks said she was raped and became pregnant.
She said the rapist denied responsibility for the pregnancy and so her mother and sisters were taking care of her but could not afford the GH₵ 450 medical bills incurred during her delivery.
Another 14 year- old girl, who also got pregnant with a man who has not shown up to clear the medicals expenses at the same hospital, was also detained.
Master Romeo Tetteh, nine years old, was playing, days to the Christmas festivities when a car run over his leg but the driver after conveying the victim to the hospital absconded, Romeo’s grandmother said.
Speaking to the GNA, Mr Kambarin expressed worry that many patients with poor backgrounds are spending the Christmas and the New Year at the hospital, and called on individuals to bail out such persons.
“The late Hawa Yakubu, and Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, used to come the hospital and pay medical expenses of many patients, sometimes twice in a year, but after she died such help rarely come, so the Surfline support is a big relief for the patients,” he added. GNA