Despite the Vice President’s pledge that the government will cover all costs, a victim of the Appiatse explosion has complained of having to pay over GH11,000 in medical bills.
Samuel Cudjoe, a Zondatech Ghana Limited employee, was on his way to Wassa Akropong when the explosion occurred.
He suffered terrible injuries and required immediate surgery to save his life.
Theophilus Nartey, a coworker who has been aiding him at the hospital, alleges that they are being forced to pay money at the two health institutions they have visited – the Tarkwa Government Hospital and the Effia Nkwanta Regional Hospital – before the victim is treated.
On Wednesday, January 26, he told Nyhyiraba Paa Kwesi Simpson of Connect FM’s Omanbapa morning show that despite Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia’s assurances, they are being asked to pay the hospital fees.
According to Theophilus Nartey, his colleague was admitted to the Tarkwa Government Hospital before being transported to the Effia Nkwanta Regional Hospital.
“A day after the disaster, we were relocated from Tarkwa to the Effia Nkwanta Hospital.” We were instructed to rent a private ambulance from the Tarkwa Government Hospital, for which we paid over GH2,200 for the driver and nurse. This was due to the lack of an available ambulance. We were also forced to pay for various services at Effia Nkwanta. We have spent roughly GH11,000 on medical expenditures in all. He bemoaned, “But we thought the Vice President said it was free.”
Christian Baidoo, the Effia Nkwanta Regional Hospital’s Public Relations Officer, expressed concern over the development.
He stated that the hospital is prepared to ensure that the Vice President’s direction is followed, and that any money paid to the hospital by victims will be repaid.
He also stated that several of the victims of the hospital tragedy had not paid any money, and that the facility’s protocol is to take care of any patient before issuing invoices.
“It is our hospital’s policy to take care of every patient before issuing them a bill.” We have three Appiatse disaster victims at the facility, and I can tell you that some of them have been treated without charging them anything. We’ve taken note of Theophilus’ case, and the hospital will return all of his money if he can show us his receipts. Christian Baidoo pledged that “investigations” would be undertaken into the matter.
Meanwhile, examinations of other medical institutions where disaster victims were admitted reveal that the vast majority of them have paid their medical fees.