The Osu Government Maternity Home has been forced to suspend medical care after the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) disconnected power to the facility. The facility is currently catering for about 40 persons who have been left stranded. The Matron of the facility, Ella Hason Owusu, pleaded with authorities to support the hospital during an interview with Citi News.
She recounted that, ECG personnel came two weeks ago, and informed them that they were to be disconnected. She explained to them that, “we don’t pay but instead, we send the bills to the regional office and then the bills are taken to the Ministry of Finance, and they [the ECG personnel] went away.”
But the ECG personnel came again today [Friday] to disconnect the maternity home’s power. “I asked the guy if somebody is delivering or coming to deliver, what should I tell the person? He told me I should tell the person to go to a private facility and go and deliver there.”
“Now the patients are sitting down. We can’t run lab tests for them because there is no is light. The worst part is if somebody comes in now to deliver, that is where the problem will come from; they are stranded. They have to go outside private hospitals around which will cost them more,” Ella Hason Owusu lamented.
The Osu Government Maternity Home’s struggles comes under the growing umbrella of indebtedness of the state to the ECG which is over GH¢ 1.6 billion.
Government’s total indebtedness to ECG hit GH¢1,599,800,195 in March 2017, increasing from GH¢1,390,966,034 in December 2016. Government subsidies to some electricity consumers amounts to GH¢655 million; the highest contributor to the debts owed ECG.
Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs), the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) also contribute to this debt. Even though the government had made some payments between January and March this year for debts owed by the Ministries, Departments, and Agencies, it is yet to make any payments for debts accumulated due to subsidies this year.
In the first five months of 2017, ECG collected GH¢1,974,453,288.10 billion in debts from consumers; translating into an average debt collection figure of GH¢103,918,594 compared to a target of GH¢130,000,000.