The Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo) decided to stop providing electricity to the St. Anne’s Hospital in Damongo because of a GH4.8 million debt, according to Maxwell Kotoka, the company’s communications manager.
In an interview, Mr. Kotoka said that the Hospital ignored the notice sent to locations under NEDCo’s control and exhibited no commitment when a disconnection exercise was announced.
When the hospital’s administration knew they couldn’t pay the debt on time, he claimed, they could have made a deal with the electricity company, but they didn’t.
“Needing the power which is so critical to their operation, where they have challenges, they should have engaged us, but they didn’t do that. And I heard them say that they owe GH¢4 million, they actually owe us GH¢4.8 million, and before we embarked on the disconnection, we made a public announcement that we were coming and said if you have any difficulty, you should take advantage of the notice before we get there,” Mr. Kotoka said.
Due to the power outage on May 22nd, two babies passed away at the hospital and three more were placed in a critical condition.
In order to restore power to the Hospital, Mr. Kotoka revealed that NEDCo is willing to participate in discussions to find a long-term solution.
“The hospital will testify that when we even came to disconnect, the disconnection wasn’t our best option, we wanted to engage on what we can do or what will be done about the continuous debt, but that didn’t yield results and so if there is a discussion on how to address this critical issue, why not?”