Huge sums spent on fuel threaten continued operations of Krobo health facilities

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Hospitals depend on power plants to operate

Eastern Region Correspondence

Hospitals and other health facilities in Yilo and Lower Manya Krobo municipalities in the Eastern region may be forced to close soon if nothing is done to address the current power outage in the region.

Facility authorities say they are forced to spend tens of thousands of cedis on fuel daily to power their generators to enable them to run the facilities.

Speaking in an interview with GhanaWeb, Municipal Director of Health Services of Yilo Krobo, Dr Irina Offei and Medical Superintendent of St Martin de Porres Hospital in Agomanya, Dr Stephen Kusi both claimed that the closure eventual medical facilities was imminent in the face of the current power outage which continues to draw some of the internally generated funds (UGF) accumulated from the facilities.

Medical institutions, since July 27, 2022, have been facing the wrath of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) against its customers in the Krobo area following the deployment of prepaid meters.

While St. Martin de Porres Hospital spends about five thousand cedis on fuel per day, Atua Government Hospital would spend between Ghc 3,000 and Ghc 4,000, with Somanya District Hospital and Polyclinic also obligated to purchase 3,000 GHC and between 500 GhC and GHC700 respectively of fuel in one day to remain in operation.

In addition, the polyclinic that does not have a generator spends an additional 200 GHC every day to rent one.

To reduce costs, the facilities have adapted to the situation by reducing the number of operating hours of the generators.

The situation they claim could affect the operations of health providers if nothing is done to address it immediately.

Dr Irina Offei said Yilo Krobo District Hospital, for example, was no longer receiving new admissions.

“Yilo Krobo District Hospital, they stopped admissions on Friday, they are running outpatient services, so if the patient needs admission, they are referred to the facility of their choice,” he said. she stated.

The director of health, however, fears that the facilities will close if the situation persists: “If the power is not restored as soon as possible, they can do so (close).”

Similarly, St Martin’s Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Stephen Kusi said: “The generator running 24/7 is our fear as it is our only source of energy. energy. If this generator, an old one, continues to work and it breaks down, that’s it, all clinical services should stop because everything is digital in the establishment”.

There were numerous reports that the hospital and others in the area had ordered families with deceased relatives in various mortuaries and mortuaries to pick them up before the morgues closed, but in response to the rumors the medical superintendent appeased public fears. , emphasizing that if the generator no longer worked for twenty-four hours, the embalming of the bodies guaranteed their proper preservation.

“We have not issued any statement to this effect and I think people should know and understand that due to the processes of embalming the bodies despite the breakdown, the bodies are very well preserved…there is no so no need to be alarmed at all“, he assured.

The closure of the hospital would mean that some 350 patients who present daily to the OPD, sixty to eighty pregnant women who present to the antinatal services and approximately fifteen to twenty patients who are admitted each day would no longer be able to access the health services in hospital.

Although the old standby generator serves as a shoulder for the hospital to lean on in times like this, management’s worst fear is its possible breakdown.

“Now, if the establishment were to close, all these people would have to be turned away, the administrator said. “I think we’re going to lose a lot of lives because the social capital we have with people means they prefer us over our sister facilities.”

He added that the situation was negatively affecting the psyche of hospital staff and regretted that the ECG had in no way communicated to healthcare providers regarding the current blackout to help them with their planning.

“Unfortunately we haven’t had direct information from our electricity supplier on the situation, that’s how long it’s going to take and those are the steps you need to take, I think that’s what worries us the most because you can’t do planning when you don’t have any information, he complained and added that previous assurances to restore power had not been fulfilled.

Calling for a resolution to the impasse, Dr Stephen Kusi said: “I think this situation has been going on for a very long time and I believe that the opinion leaders in the community, we have politicians and as an establishment, our mandate is primarily to care for the sick who come to us so that we only implore the powers that be i.e. ECG, politicians, MPs to come together and restore power to us. .. it’s not right to do this job, we are going through this ordeal”.

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