Liberia: Health Ministry Explains Doctors' Transfer

10 November 2020

Liberia's chief medical officer and deputy minister of health Dr. Francis Kateh says government has no plan to withdraw doctors from the Phebe Hospital in Bong County, as being speculated in the public.

Speaking to OK fm (99.5) on Tuesday in Monrovia Dr. Kateh said the Phebe Hospital is over 95% supported by the Government of Liberia, including salary for employees unlike other religious hospital like ELWA Hospital in Paynesville.

He explains due to shortage of doctors at Rennie Hospital in Kakata, Margibi County the Ministry of Health recently transferred two of the nine doctors from Pbebe hospital to Rennie to adequately serve the health needs of citizens in the county.

According Dr. Kateh, one of three medical doctors at Rennie Hospital was recently suspended so the two doctors from Phebe are going to augment the strength of doctors there.

Liberia has a doctor-patients ratio of 1:1000, according to date from the Ministry of Health, making it one of the countries in West Africa with serious health challenges. Asked whether government is planning to recall all doctors from Phebe Hospital by December, he said such information is baseless.

"That is not true, why will we want to hamper the health needs of Bong County? The government has sole responsibility to cater to all of its citizens that fall within the country's limit so there is no way the government is thinking of moving all of the doctors from Phebe", Dr. Kateh clarifies.

Recent reports coming out of Bong County said the Ministry of Health has recalled two doctors from the Phebe Hospital in reaction to hospital board's decision to reject transfer of Dr. Jefferson Sibley.

But Dr. Kateh said government took the action based on where urgent needs are and for now, Rennie Hospital has limited doctors, so they decided to move quickly in redeploying two doctors there to save lives.

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