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14.05.2007 General News

33 patients detained at hospital

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Thirty-Three patients are being held hostage by the authorities of the Our Lady of Grace Hospital at Breman Asikuma for the non-payment of medical bills totaling ¢18.5 million.

According to their spokespersons, Madam Kate Asante, Madam Veronica Okai, Margaret Feboa and Beatrice Forso, they had stayed in the Hospital for between four and 12 weeks even though they had been discharged.

Speaking to the GNA at Breman Asikuma in the Central region, the detainees mostly women and farmers claimed they could not pay the bill and did not have anybody to pay for them.

The Hospital Administrator, Mr. Takyi Ansah, however, noted that the non-payment of bills by patients was a major problem in the area.

He said that the Managing Director of a company at Enyan Kenkyira, Mr Opraem Quansah, settled the bills of 10 patients some few weeks ago, paid for the medical bills for 10 patients totaling ¢20 million some few weeks ago to secure their release.

Sister Luisa Ruperez, in-charge said the hospital incurred over ¢200 million debt last year in respect of patients absconding without settling their bills.

She noted that the hospital would gradually grind to halt if the situation persisted and suggested that the District Assembly and Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) should identify the poor and vulnerable in the communities to register them with the National Health Insurance to enable them to have access to affordable medical care.

Source: GNA

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