REP. Sheriff Welcome De-Politicization of medical Centers

The Inquirer
Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted May 13, 2004

The Chairman of the NTLA standing committee on Health and Social Welfare has expressed that recent statements made by senior veteran Liberian surgeons requesting the de-politicization of tertiary teaching hospitals in Liberia is commendable.

In a press statement issued yesterday, Rep. Dr. Sheriff said, “in particular when these institutions are not functioning in accordance with professional ethics. It has been brought to our immediate attention for investigation, medical malpractice resulting into death of patients with the intent to cover up.

“Accordingly, patients are taken to some of these institutions at their so-called emergency room when in fact there is no emergency room due to the lack of basic life saving instruments and materials. Case in point is a matter that we are currently investigating of a 25 year-old female who was rushed to said emergency for septic abortion and malaria. The girl was given an overdose of medication with a delayed transfer to a Mamba Point Clinic. Upon arrival at said clinic, the young lady expired. The collaborating partners must know what the limits and professional ability of these institutions are rather than fooling the public by collecting few dollars from them. Said institutions are being investigated and the public will be informed of said outcome to avoid such a repetition to save lives of our citizens.

“Some of these tertiary institutions have administrators that are not qualified. To be an administrator of a tertiary teaching hospital, one must hold a master’s degree or a post-graduate degree. In the case of some, because of political influence and connections, they may pretend to have such qualifications when in fact they do not possess such. We will weed these bad apples as we investigate the malpractice cases. Possible legislation may emanate from these investigations if the public’s cooperation can be obtained.

“The public is advised to report all medical malpractice interventions to avoid the death of innocent lives from the hands of unscrupulous adventurers at Public Health centers in Liberia..

“We request the Liberia Medical Board to be vigilant and protect the residents and citizens of Liberia. We need to strengthen our Health Care delivery system by having well trained qualified medical and paramedical staff to enhance our efforts. It has also been reported that some institutions are hiring unqualified people as well as foreigners when indeed the qualified Liberian specialists are sidelined for political reasons. This is in violation of the labor laws of Liberia resulting into lawsuits. We want to encourage our training Institutions to leave politics out of these hospitals at a time that we need qualified health workers and be more professional in the interest of the people of Liberia. We strongly urge the media institutions both prints and electronics to work with this committee to expose all institutions who are involved in mal practices and the hiring of unqualified doctors & paramedics in Liberia for our committee to timely intervene to save lives. Quality assurance cannot be compromised for our compromise for just a few. The lives we save could be yours or that of your love ones! So please join our efforts.

“We also wish to say bravo to the ICRC for bringing into the country a well trained medical team of specialists to handle trauma surgery, road traffic accidents and obstetric emergencies. The Liberian people appreciate your good work and the NTLA committee on health applauds your good humanitarian services to Liberia. Please continue the good work. Thank you ICRC,” Dr. Sheriff’s statement concluded

© 2004: This article is copyrighted by The Inquirer newspaper (Monrovia, Liberia) and distributed by The Perspective (Atlanta, Georgia). All rights reserved.