More than 60 children at the Princess Marie Louise Children’s Hospital have been discharged after the Absa Bank absorbed their medical bills.
The children and their parents had been held back for more than a week because they could not pay their bills.
The Premier Banking Division of the Absa Bank paid for the children to be discharged yesterday.
According to officials of the bank, part of the money would be used by the hospital to establish small businesses for some needy mothers whose children had already been discharged.
At a brief presentation, the Head of Premier Banking, Mr Owusu Agyeman, said the gesture formed part of the department’s corporate social responsibilities.
“Our aim is to make a difference in the lives of children whose parents cannot afford the medical bills and are still kept in the hospital,” he said.
To assess at first-hand the welfare of the children, the management of the hospital took the Absa Bank team on a tour to check on the children in the various wards.
Places visited included the emergency and malnutrition wards where children were being attended to by healthcare providers.
Mr Agyeman stated that it was important to take up the bills because the move would lessen the burden of the mothers who would have paid all the bills.
He expressed the hope that the gesture would put smiles on the faces of the beneficiaries as they celebrated this year’s Christmas.
“This is Christmas time and it is a time of joy and celebration. We cannot be celebrating an important day such as this and our children and their mothers will be stuck in the hospital due to their inability to pay the bills,” Mr Agyeman said.
A Medical Doctor at the hospital, Dr Mame Yaa Nyarko, who received the donation on behalf of the children and their parents, expressed appreciation to the bank for the gesture.
She indicated that people sometimes visited the hospital to enquire about children’s needs, with the intention of reaching out, but they never returned.
Dr Nyarko said it was, therefore, a privilege that the Absa Bank reached out to the hospital, because the mothers of most of the children on admission either lost their jobs or never had one.
“We are grateful for the gesture. You probably will not appreciate the impact of this donation but for those of us at the hospital, GH¢10 or GH¢50 can make a difference in somebody’s life,” she stated.
Meanwhile, a social worker at the Department of Social Welfare stationed at the hospital, Ms Sally Coffie, said the Malnutrition Ward of the hospital needed more financial support.
“Most of the parents there do not have meaningful jobs so after their discharge, they need some capital to start their businesses,” she added.