By: Joseph Titus Yekeryan (Correspondent)
Several citizens of Bong County have expressed fear over the government’s alleged action to withdraw Doctors from the Phebe Hospital in Bong County.
Liberia’s Chief of Medical Officer Dr. Francis Kateh recently confirmed to a local Radio Station in Gbarnga, the reassigning of government’s employed Medical Doctors at the Phebe Referral Hospital in reaction to the alleged refusal of the Hospital’s Board to offer slots to the Liberian government for appointments and key decision making.
Dr. Kateh in his telephone interview said the decision is meant to empower the government’s own facilities, instead of promoting institutions that do not want to adhere to GoL’s mandate.
But his statement has sparked fear amongst local residents of the County many of whom cannot afford to go to different hospitals in the County.
The citizens mostly radio talk-show participants said even though the Phebe Referral Hospital is faced with challenges, it is better to have professional Doctors at the facility instead of withdrawing them.
Aaron Kamara a resident of “Millionaire Quarter Community” told a local radio station that the reported action of the government is a complete disaster to the ordinary citizens, calling on the government to with immediate effect reconsider its decision.
“I want to appeal to the government through Dr. Willimina Jallah to please send back our doctors, Phebe Hospital has and continues to do well for the ordinary citizens so if the government wants to close eyes on the support of the hospital, then it will be harming the locals,” Mr. Kamara said.
Nancy Kerkulah, a Bong County-based market woman who claims to have been denied as a result of her failure to buy a glove for her pregnant daughter said it is better for patients to be paying a little amount for treatment than for the government to abandon the hospital.
She said, if the government doesn’t send back or replace whosoever it withdrew, that would be a clear manifestation of what she calls complete abandonment.
At the same time, many citizens have appointed accusing fingers at Jorquelleh District #3 Representative Josiah Marvin Cole of being the masterminded of the government’s plan.
Representative Cole had over the past described Phebe as a corruption center accusing Doctors and Administrators of the Hospital of being corrupt even though an audit report from the Hospital did not indict anyone of using monies on his/her own interest.
The Lawmaker by then also threatened to have the budget of the hospital reduced if they failed to define their position whether they are private or government institutions.
Even though others are accusing Hon. Cole, some are also maintaining that it is a plan by the government and not Hon. Cole alone.
Representative Cole is yet to speak to the media on the allegation leveled against him.