The Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo) has disconnected power supply to St. Anne’s Hospital in Damongo for the second time in a month due to the facility’s failure to settle an outstanding electricity bill of over four million Ghana cedis.
Consequently, the OPD and administration blocks of the hospital have been closed down.
Earlier, on May 4, the electricity company cut off power supply to the hospital, but it was later reconnected after the intervention of the Savannah Regional Minister, Saeed Muhazu Jibril.
However, NEDCo issued a warning stating that they would disconnect the hospital again on May 9 if the outstanding debt remained unpaid.
In a telephone interview, Mr. Rashid Damba, the hospital’s accountant, lamented that efforts to prevent the disconnection had been in vain.
“We have done everything humanly possible to prevent NEDCo from disconnecting power supply to the hospital, but our efforts have not yielded the desired outcome,” he stated.
Due to the lack of electricity, the medical director of the hospital has decided to refer patients to a nearby hospital since the facility cannot operate without power. As a result, both the OPD and administration have been closed.
Upset patients stranded at the hospital expressed their disappointment with the situation and even threatened to take to the streets in protest until electricity is restored to the hospital.
Although the hospital has its own power plant, Mr. Damba explained that the cost of fueling it would be prohibitively expensive for the facility to bear.
The hospital authorities argue that it is the responsibility of the government, as per their agreement, to settle the electricity bills and not charge patients for electricity usage.