This appeal comes in response to recent increases in charges for dialysis treatment at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, which have made the critical lifeline inaccessible to many patients and their families.
Addressing the issue during a keynote address at the First Ghana Ageing Conference, commemorating the 2023 United Nations International Day of Older Persons, former President Mahama expressed deep concern about the rising healthcare costs for patients with life-threatening diseases.
He stated, “Just this week, there was an uproar when the nation's premier teaching hospital, Korle Bu, announced an increase in charges for dialysis treatment out of reach for many patients and their families. The explanation I have read from the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital cites the increase in taxes and duties on materials for dialysis treatment as the main reason for this decision.”
Former President Mahama emphasized the gravity of the situation, especially for elderly patients, saying, “This is akin to condemning kidney disease patients to a death sentence. Many of such patients are in the bracket of the elderly.”
He also appealed to the government to address the pressing needs of Korle Bu, noting that the hospital was facing challenges such as inadequate ventilators. He asserted that addressing these critical healthcare issues was essential to prevent avoidable deaths.
Furthermore, former President Mahama highlighted the importance of modernizing healthcare infrastructure to cater to the needs of an aging population.
He outlined the healthcare achievements during his tenure, which included the construction of modern hospitals and the replacement of obsolete health equipment.
In closing, he reaffirmed his commitment to providing compassionate leadership, access to affordable healthcare for the elderly, and reinforcing the legal framework to protect the rights and interests of older persons.
He called for the passage of the Social Protection Bill and Aged Persons Bill and encouraged society to use modern technology to improve the quality of life for the elderly.
Rev Father Andrew Campbell, the Chairperson for the occasion, emphasized the importance of recognizing and respecting older persons, combatting inequalities and discrimination, and promoting universal principles of justice and dignity.
He suggested the formation of a Grand Parents Association to advocate for the welfare of older people and encouraged spending quality time with the elderly while teaching younger generations to respect them.
By Albert Allotey: Editing by Adewale Adejoke