The House’s Joint Committee on Health, Social Welfare and Judiciary has advised plenary to reject the “Act to elevate the CB Dunbar Maternity Center to a regional maternal hospital,” arguing that the Phebe referral hospital is already located in the same vicinity – Gbarnga, the capital city of Bong County.
River Gee County District #1 Representative Johnson Chea, who is also the chairman on the Health and Social Welfare Committee and the head of the Joint Committee on Health, Social Welfare and Judiciary, said the recommendation was a result of a discussion with the Ministry of Health, which involved the Chief Medical Officer, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer, the Director of Family Health, the president of the Liberia Medical and Dental Council, the World Health Organization and other stakeholders.
Rep. Chea said witnesses had indicated that the CB Dunbar Hospital is currently a maternity health center that is backed up by Phebe Hospital, which is one of the key referral and teaching hospitals in the country responsible for the training of middle level health workers and postgraduate medical doctors.
After the endorsement of plenary to reject the “Act to elevate the CB Dunbar Maternity Center to a regional maternal hospital,” a motion for reconsideration was filed by Bong County District #3 Representative George Mulbah to overturn the decision.
Rep. Mulbah argued that the joint report from the Committee on Health and Judiciary did not get the required number of signatures – the majority of the House – for it to be discussed or voted upon by plenary.
He said the report should have been signed by at least eight of the 14–member Joint Committee, instead of six.
The motion for reconsideration was tested and prevailed, which overturned the decision of plenary to reject the Act.
It means that the Joint Committee will have to acquire the needed signatures and resubmit their report, which will be tried through votes.