25 January 2013

Liberia: Phebe Hospital to Close Down?

Phebe, a referral hospital located in Suakoko, Bong County about 300 kilometers from Monrovia, has threatened to shut down due to lack of funding. Gafee Williams, Chief Medical Officer of the hospital said this was the only option in the face serious financial difficulty.

"We are finding it difficult because there is no funding and we cannot do otherwise. The only alternative is closure," Williams said in apparent frustration. He said subsidy allotted by government in the 2012/2013 national budget for the hospital is difficult to access from the Ministry of Finance Ministry in Monrovia.

Phebe Hospital, established by Christian missionaries in the 60s, runs a nursing program -two years for Midwifery and three years for Physician Assistance (PA), Register Nurse (RA) and others. It is the latest public health institution, struggling to remain afloat due to funding challenges.

The Jackson Fiah Doe Memorial Referral Hospital in Tappita, Nimba County recently complained of shortage of medical supplies, including drugs, fruits and vegetables, amongst others for its upkeep. The hospital's proposed budget for the 2012/2013 Fiscal Year was US$6 million, but got US$700,000.00, which is causing headache for the management there.

Of late, nurses and other health workers, as well as teachers in the public sector have been laying down tools due to lack of support. Both the ministries of Health and Education have been receiving fabulous budgetary allotments to meet huge challenges in both sectors, but services to the people seem wanting; writes T.K.S.

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