March 16, 2024

The announcement by the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to take action against some 91 hospitals mostly public hospitals following their indebtedness to the power distributor does not sink well with the Ranking Member on the Health Committee of Parliament, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh and he has called for restraints in that regard.

He asserts that these hospitals render essential social services and so we must be thinking more about the welfare of the people rather than breaking even and making profit.

It is the reason government had some subversions to take care of utilities in the various hospitals. Unfortunately, government at a point announced the scrapping of those subversions, thus putting pressure on the hospitals to raise money to take care of their utilities. But because the utilities were very high, even at the time government was responsible for these bills “you know how they were struggling; not to talk about withdrawing these interventions.

Once you withdraw these interventions it would have a dire consequences on the health care delivery in the country.”
He said it is time we reflect on these things and investigate whether those utilities have been abused or properly so used for health delivery.

“If indeed these consumptions are for proper health care delivery, then I think government must reflect on it again to pay to set those utilities off their books. Government must pay.”

According to him, if the situation is not properly handled it would worsen the already weak health care sector we have as a country.

“We have to be very careful; this is about the lives of the people in the country and think through it. If indeed the system has not been abused , we don’t have a situation where people are doing commercial activities with the consumption of electricity in the various hospitals and the consumptions are properly so-called for health delivery, then I think we have to relook at it and bring back those subversions to take care of these utilities”, he emphasized.

The ECG has given some 91 hospitals mostly public 72 hours to pay their debts owed it or show commitment to paying these debts or risk disconnection following some 261million Ghana cedis debt from these facilities.

But Mr. Akandoh thinks the situation cannot be treated as an ordinary one on the basis that ECG has to run so they can just disconnect these facilities because if the hospitals don’t operate there would be dire consequences, “so if there should be that agreement between government and the Electricity Company of Ghana, we have to look at it”

He said though these hospitals also have internally generated funds, they pay some portion to a central point: and that also calls for another investigation to ascertain if they generate enough to be able to offset their bills but are abusing the money.

He made these submissions on the Ghana Tonight Show on TV3 on Wednesday, March 13, 2024.