The Western Regional Directorate of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) has directed health facilities that are demanding monies from Appiatse accident victims for treatment to put an end to it.

The Service has also asked health facilities to refund the expenditure that had been incurred by families of the explosion victims and include them in the bills being collated for reimbursement.

It would be recalled that the Vice President, Dr Mahmud Bawumia declared during his visit to the Appiatse explosion scene on Friday January 21 that the Government would absorb all medical expenses of the victims.

However, some media reports suggested that some health facilities in the Western Region were charging monies from the explosion victims before treatment.

But reacting to the issue at a media engagement in Sekondi, Dr Yaw Ofori Yeboah, Regional Health Director of the GHS said the Service was collating expenditure from the various health facilities for immediate reimbursement.

He maintained that Appiatse explosion victims were receiving free treatment at various health facilities in the Region and explained that “unfortunately, we ran out of some essential items such as orthopaedic plates, and some drugs. Relatives of two out of the 348 cases we attended to, procured these items from private sources during the emergency”.

He added that in the early stages of the emergency, the focus of the GHS was to mobilize blood and other critical life-saving items for the injured. “I wish to reiterate the Government’s decision to offer free care to the explosion victims. All the GHS facilities in the Region will continue to offer free care to the victims in accordance with the declaration by the Vice President”, he assured.

The GHS, Dr Yeboah said had attended to 348 of the victims, majority of whom had either been discharged or were in stable condition in the hospitals.

However, he said two of the victims died in two health facilities in the Region and a health post had been set up at the internally displaced site at Bogoso-Kojokrom to provide essential primary care.

Dr Yeboah said psychosocial support had also been arranged for the survivors and relatives of the incident, while a team of Ear, Nose and throat (ENT) specialists have been sent to conduct hearing assessment.

This, he explained was because about 40 of the victims had reported hearing challenges and staff of the GHS were on the ground conducting surveillance activities against any outbreak.

Dr Yeboah mentioned that most victims received life threatening abdominal injuries and multiple fractures, but through the dedication and hard work of the staff they were stabilized and health personal were sacrificing to save their lives.