June 14, 2024

Dr. Aboagye Da-Costa

The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) is poised to launch a comprehensive support program for dialysis treatment, commencing on June 1. The initiative, announced by NHIA Chief Executive Officer Dr. Aboagye Da-Costa in an interview with the media on Wednesday, May 15, will span six months, providing critical financial assistance to patients undergoing dialysis across Ghana.

This proactive measure follows Parliament’s recent approval of GH₵2 million in funding aimed at alleviating the financial burden of dialysis treatment, a pressing issue given the rising costs associated with the procedure. The decision reflects a growing recognition of the need to support the approximately 1,300 Ghanaians currently undergoing dialysis, each requiring an average of 12 sessions per month.

The cost per dialysis session has surged from GH₵380 to GH₵491, resulting in monthly expenses of nearly GH₵6,000 for patients. This substantial increase has placed significant financial strain on many families, prompting the NHIA’s intervention.

A dedicated committee, chaired by Presidential Advisor on Health Dr. Nsiah Asare and including Dr. Da-Costa, was established to oversee the equitable distribution of the allocated funds. The committee also featured Chief Executive Officers and medical directors from leading healthcare institutions such as Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, and Cape Coast Teaching Hospital, as well as representatives of dialysis patients.

“Based on the money that we had, we knew that we could support two sessions at full cost,” Dr. Da-Costa explained. “For Korle Bu, there is a philanthropy that supports each patient with GH₵380, so we will add the remaining balance so that they don’t pay anything for the two sessions. However, the patients at other facilities don’t get any support at all, and to be fair, we decided to support them fully for two sessions as well.”

The NHIA’s initiative marks a significant step forward in addressing the urgent needs of renal patients, ensuring that financial constraints do not hinder access to life-saving dialysis treatments. This program underscores the Authority’s commitment to enhancing healthcare accessibility and equity across the nation, particularly for those grappling with chronic kidney disease.

As the NHIA prepares to roll out this support program, patients and their families can look forward to much-needed relief, bolstered by a collaborative approach involving key healthcare stakeholders and government support.

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