Communication specialist at the Ministry Of Energy and Petroleum, Edward Bawa, has stated that there will be a modification of the policy that requires the migration of government hospitals onto the prepaid metering system.
He said this in an interview on Joy News@8 on MultiTV in response to concerns raised by management of the Kintampo Municipal Hospital and the Volta Regional hospitals.
He said: “When you start implementing a policy, you examine the feedback and make adjustments if they are necessary. This is because policies are meant to serve people and not people to serve policies”.
He explained that the rationale for the president’s decision to move all government institutions onto the pre-paid metering system is to stop government’s perennial indebtedness to the ECG
He, however, said inasmuch as the government wanted all its institutions to be migrated onto the pre-paid system, the minister for Energy and Petroleum has clearly stated that there are some critical government institutions that have to be exempted.
He emphasized: “One clear example will be hospitals. We do know that these are places where power supply is very important because there are patients who go through certain medical procedures and so to rely on the prepaid system will not necessarily be the way to go”.
According to management of the Kintampo Municipal Hospital, as one of the major hospitals that offer healthcare to the northern part of the country, the move by the Volta River Authority to migrate them onto the prepaid metering system will have serious implications on healthcare delivery in most of the hospitals in the region.
The Medical Superintendent of the hospital, Dr. Damien Punguyire said the Kintampo Municipal hospital is already burdened with numerous challenges which would be compounded with the introduction of the pre-paid meters. He also stated that it will be virtually suicidal for the hospital to rely on irregular NHIS claims payment to purchase electricity in advance.
The hospital, meanwhile, has a standby generator which he says costs almost 4,000 Ghana Cedis to run for just 24 hours, an alternative that is clearly unsustainable.
Authorities of the Volta Regional Hospital also say the replacement of their meters with pre-paid meters will have a negative impact on the quality of service offered at the facility.
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