A civil society organization, the Campaigners for Change (CFC), is calling on the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and the government to revoke the medical license of Dr. James Benson, the administrator of Benson Hospital, for deliberately refusing to admit a poor pregnant woman in labor who could not pay his fees.
Making the disclosure yesterday during a press conference in Monrovia, the national director of the CFC, Vandalark Patricks, said revoking the medical license of such a medical practitioner would serve as a deterrent for other health workers around the country.
He alleged that the John F. Kennedy Hospital was also involved in rejecting sick patients and pregnant women who were in labor because of lack of money and on suspicion of being Ebola suspects, which has resulted in the deaths of many people.
“We believe that those who refuse to admit pregnant women in labor must be punished by revoking their licenses, especially Dr. Benson, simply because the lady could not afford the sum of US$450.00 for her delivery.
According to Patricks, the unprofessional behavior exhibited by some health practitioners from Benson and Redemption Hospitals, allowing pregnant women to give birth outside without medical care must be addressed immediately to stop the occurrence.
“We observed that the John F. Kennedy, which is a referral hospital, continued to reject patients who were in dire need of medical services. Ambulances and medical equipment to treat patients with curable diseases were rarely seen at most health facilities in Bong, Margibi, Bassa and Montserrado Counties,” said Patricks.
He further charged that, “Drugs were absent from public hospitals and patients were referred to drugs stores to purchase their own medications.”
Neglect of the Mentally Ill
Addressing the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOH&SW), Mr. Patricks said the Ministry has deliberately refused to address the social welfare component of the Ministry, leaving mentally ill people on the streets throughout the country.
“We documented 57 cases of mentally ill persons in Montserrado, 23 in Margibi, 15 in Bong and 12 in Grand Bassa Counties and those cases continued to increase, he reported, charging that “it still appears to those in authority as a complete comedy when they see and pass by these mentally ill persons who wander around the streets.”
Stranglehold on the Economy
Highlighting the Liberian Economy, the CFC director said his organization has observed in 2014 that the Lebanese, Chinese, Indians, Pakistanis and Nigerians controlled 90% of the lucrative businesses in Liberia while using some of the educated and uneducated brothers, allegedly like slaves.
According to him, 90% of ministries and agencies of government contracted foreign businesses over Liberian owned businesses for procurement of materials thereby strangulating hundreds of Liberians and making things difficult for them.
In respond, one of the midwives of the Redemption hospital said, for the past six to seven months, the hospital has stopped delivery matter due to the government declaration as holding.
According to her, the male and female walls have being used as also as part of the holding center and they have being involved into encouraging pregnant women of finding hospital during delivery pain.
She stressed that after the opening of the Island Ebola center, it was the duty of the government to acknowledge the hospital in carrying out cleaning activities for the official opening of the center.