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Insufficient dialysis machines forces KATH to send patients to private facilities

The Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) is grappling with a shortage of dialysis equipment, leading to the redirection of patients to private facilities in the Ashanti Region.

Despite being a primary referral hospital, KATH is struggling to meet the demand for dialysis due to the inadequate number of machines.

During a meeting with Finance Minister Mohammed Amin Adam, Professor Dr Otchere Addai-Mensah, the CEO of KATH, highlighted the dire situation. He explained that out of the hospital’s two dialysis machines, one is non-functional, leaving only a single machine operational.

He further expressed the difficult decision to send patients who needed dialysis to private facilities.

“The dialysis in this hospital is restricted to two patients who are within the hospital. One of the most difficult calls I have had to make as the chief executive was when I was approached by my medical director who posed a question as to whether or not he was okay to send patients who needed dialysis to private facilities. As difficult as that call was, it had to be made because we do not have sufficient dialysis machines,” he said.

He emphasised the time-consuming nature of dialysis procedures, with each session lasting up to four hours. The limited machines mean that patients may face extended waiting periods.

Dr Addai-Mensah further revealed a critical shortage of medical equipment, noting the absence of a mammography machine for the past 18 years. This lack has led to delayed breast cancer diagnoses, with cases often detected in advanced stages.

The CEO also raised concerns about the overcrowded emergency centre, where patients are struggling to receive adequate care. He highlighted the urgent need for improved facilities and capacity.

In response, Finance Minister Mohammed Amin Adams announced the availability of 14 million euros for the construction of a Mother and Baby Unit at KATH.

He assured that this funding aims to enhance the hospital’s capabilities and address the pressing issues raised by Dr Addai-Mensah.

“Because of the concern by our president, the directive for us to find money and address these outstanding infrastructure issues. You have seen us moving very quickly, and this visit by me demonstrates the commitment to addressing these challenges so we can bring relief to the people of Kumasi, Ashanti region,” said Minister Adams.

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