The Ho Teaching Hospital, Ho Municipal Hospital, Keta Municipal Hospital, Peki Government Hospital, some municipal and district hospitals, CHPS compounds, bungalows, and health directorates in the Volta Region owe the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) about GH₵ 8.9 million.
“The Ho Teaching Hospital owes the ECG GH₵ 1.4 million Ghana Cedis but paid GH₵ 40,000 Cedis on 24th March after several visits by ECG Officials. The Ho Municipal Hospital owes GH₵ 420,000, Peki Government Hospital GH₵ 362,000, and Keta Municipal Hospital GH₵ 465,400”, stated a communique copied to Myjoyonline.com.
The ECG Regional Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Obeng Antwi, stated that his outfit has not disconnected any of the above facilities yet, since it does not appreciate disconnecting customers, and would only do so as the last resort.
He added that consultations are ongoing to agree on a payment plan between the power distribution company and the health facilities.
“We have visited most of the facilities on Thursday, 23rd March 2023, together with the PURC we met all health administrators, medical superintendents, and officials of the Volta Regional Health Directorate to discuss how best they can settle these arrears.
Further engagements between the ECG and the Regional Health Directorate also took place on Friday, 24th March 2023 to have a clear roadmap on how to settle these debts”.
Mr. Antwi said that it was agreed that personnel occupying staff bungalows of the hospitals should pay their bills, and hospitals must endeavor to pay ECG bills because utilities form a component of the bills issued to customers after providing service.
“A decision will be taken on mortuaries to pay their bills since they generate revenue. The hospitals are sensitive facilities that need the power to operate but if ECG fails to meet its target which includes their debt, it could affect the electricity supply chain which could affect the economy through the unavailability of power, hence we are appealing to them to start making some payment”, he said.
The Volta Regional Manager of the Public Utility Regulations Commission, Philip Agbezudor, during the engagement explained hospitals are not exempted from being disconnected for owing ECG.
He said LI 2413, 37 of the PURC regulations, states that any customer that owes ECG or GWCL has 14 days to settle their arrears upon request by the power distribution company adding that there is special protection for hospitals due to the life-saving services they provide.
“So after the 14 days, the utility company must have a payment plan with them and give additional 21 days for payment before any disconnection should they default the payment plan”, he stressed.
Mr. Agbezudor added that ECG has not adhered to the PURC’s regulation by allowing these facilities to owe over 2 years and urged the health facilities “to make conscious efforts to pay their utility bills to enable the companies to stay in business”.
The ECG is embarking on a one-month nationwide exercise to retrieve about GH₵ 5.7 billion Cedis from its debtors with about GH₵ 220 million in the Volta Region.
Source: Ghana News