The Chief Administrator of the James Jenkins Dossen Memorial Hospital in Harper, Maryland County, Mr. Roland Bailea, has appealed to government to augment the hospital's budget to make the facility more responsive to the health needs of the people.
According to the Liberia News Agency, Mr. Bailea made the appeal during a visit the Minister of Information Lewis Brown paid to the hospital Monday as part of his ongoing development assessment tour of five counties.
Bailea informed the Information Minister that the hospital extends medical and ambulance services to Grand Kru and River Gee counties as well as some villages in neighboring Ivory Coast, adding, "these services have elevated the status of J.J Dossen to a regional referral hospital."
He took the Information minister on a tour of the emergency room and the Diagnostic Laboratory, during which he blamed the state of the facilities at the hospital on low budgetary allotment.
He said: "US$180,000 is too insignificant for a regional hospital which caters to at least 100 out-patients and 60 in-patients daily".
According to Bailea, the low budget is based on the projected catchment of 22,800 patients per annum which, he said, is "far below" the total number of patients the hospital treats annually, noting "even patients from within Harper District exceed this number."
Bailea said the international medical non-governmental organization, Merlin, that previously assisted the hospital has pulled out, leaving a gap in funding requirements.
He said the hospital was in dire need of improved facilities, including the surgical ward, emergency room, laboratory, modern X-ray machine and blood bank, amongst others.
According to Bailea, the 65-bedroom J.J. Dossen hospital undertakes at least 90 deliveries per month, while malaria is the most diagnosed and treated ailment.