Out and In-patients at the Half-Assini Government Hospital in the Western Region are paying a Special Levy of GHC2.00 per every visit for the payment of Electricity bills and other expenses.
Stakeholders in the area, made up of Chiefs, Heads of Departments, Security Agencies, out-going Assembly members, Community Based Organizations (CBOs), Religious Bodies, Political Party leaders and Management of the District Assembly approved the levy that was submitted by the hospital Authority.
Dr Jonathan Mensah, Medical Superintendent of the Hospital, said the decision followed directives by the Director General of the Ghana Health Service Office, asking hospitals in the country to charge patients a small fee for payment of electricity bills as government has asked them to foot their own bills.
According to Dr Mensah, the authorities of the Hospital have been making frantic efforts to offer quality health delivery at the facility despite the high cost involved.
He said the hospital used to dispense two boxes of ‘Paracetamol’ a day at the facility but the number has increased to more than three boxes due to the increase in Out-Patient Department (OPD) attendances.
Dr Mensah said the Out-Patient Department cases had jumped from 173 in 2013 to 200 in June this year, adding that, “quality health delivery is a pre-requisite to National Development”.
He said the approval of the levy will enable the hospital to meet some challenges in its quest to provide quality health delivery in the area and also ensure regular power supply.
Mr Paul Agyakwa, Administrator of the Hospital, mentioned the lack of Nurses and Midwives as some of the challenges facing the facility.
The District Health Director, Mr Joseph Kwame Samson, expressed gratitude over the approval of the levy, which according to him will go a long way to promote quality health delivery at the facility.
The guest of honour, Awulae Annor Adjaye III, Paramount Chief of Western Nzema Traditional Area suggested that the fee should be extended to all Health Facilities in the area.
He said all the needs of the hospitals cannot be met by Government alone and appealed to the private sector to support in providing quality health delivery in the country.
The Paramount chief said Companies operating in the area will be made to pay some amount annually towards health delivery in the area, as part of their Cooperate Social Responsibility (CSR).
Awulae Adjaye called for separate accounts for the levy and suggested that it should be managed by a combined team from the Assembly and the Hospital to ensure transparency and accountability.
The Chairman of the Ceremony, Reverend Kwasi Archer, urged the people to pay the levy, since some districts in the Region are paying high levies than that of the Half Assini hospital.
He said the Local Council of Churches in the area will contribute towards the Programme. GNA