He has described the surge in kidney failure cases and its accompanying mortality rate in Ghana, as troubling.
According to the nephrologist, the high rate of mortality is due to high cost of dialysis.
“Ideally, a patient is supposed to get dialysis 3 times a week, until a kidney transplant is done, but most patients are unable to afford with some doing twice and others once a week. The people we start with are not the ones who continue in the next 3 months. Most of them would've run out of cash,” he told Ibrahim Abubakar of TV3 on September 28, 2023.
The Management of Korle-Bu teaching Hospital has indicated its intention to increase the cost of dialysis per session from the current GHC380 to GHC765 subject to parliamentary approval, due to high taxes on consumables.
With the increase in cost, Dr Tannor fears some patients will not be able to afford dialysis and this may lead to death.
“Majority of our patients already cannot afford the existing cost. When you have kidney disease, you pay out of pocket and its expensive. At least one-third of patients under dialysis die on admission at KATH because they cannot afford,” he stressed.
Dr Tannor therefore suggested that government should take up part of the cost.
“It doesn't make sense for individuals to pay out of pocket for dialysis services when they unfortunately get kidney diseases. There has to be some support to be able to help such people. Government must intervene and absorb at least half the cost. It is really pathetic to watch people die on dialysis on daily basis,” he lamented.
By Ibrahim Abubakar