Some Ghanaians have spoken out about the extortion they faced while trying to collect blood for relatives who were in critical need at the hospital.
They admitted that it was a difficult experience, but they were determined to save their dying relatives.
They spoke about their experiences on Adom FM’s Dwaso Nsem on Wednesday, with several admitting they couldn’t afford it.
This followed an investigation by JoyNews and Corruption Watch, which revealed that a cartel working within the National Blood Service at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital and the Greater Accra Regional Blood Bank was illegally collecting payments for blood supplies.
A staff member at the Greater Accra Regional Hospital asked GH300 for a pint of blood, while the boss of a syndicate operating under the National Blood Service at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital sought GH750.
Dr. Justina Ansah, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Blood Service, has stated that no patient should expect to pay more than GH150 for blood.
Callers who only supplied their names as Hajia, Yaw, and Dela shared their experiences from several hospitals in the Greater Accra Region, describing it as a nightmare.
Hajia revealed she had lost her firstborn, a girl, as a result of the incident after she was forced to pay GHS 700 for the blood.
They were transferred to Korle-Bu after all of their efforts to raise funds, but the daughter died before they could get to award.
“On January 2, 2017, when my wife went to deliver and her blood group were o+, I was asked to pay GHS700 for a pint because her blood group was scarce one and she needed four pints,” Yaw continued.
“I was made to make a deposit of GHS1,400, and afterward I saw the doctor engage in a distinct conversation with another person, he took the money and told me the blood would be brought from 37, and when they brought it, they came for the balance, and there is a man at Korle-Bu who is also into blood,” she said.
Dela, another caller, stated that her kid was on the verge of dying at the Tema General Hospital because the doctors refused to treat him until she paid for two pints of GHS300 apiece.
She described herself as helpless and crying her heart out because her husband was out of town and she had no one to turn to for financial assistance.
“I had previously donated blood at Ashaiman Hospital, and we were assured that it would be a guarantee at our time of need, but that was not the case for me.
“In my hopeless position, a man who understood my native language approached me, and I pleaded with him to assist me in getting the blood because my husband will undoubtedly pay when he returns, and he agreed.” Finally, I’m not sure how, but we paid GHC1,215 for the two pints,” she lamented.