The Minister of Health, Dr. Bernice Dahn, and the Board of the John F. Kennedy Medical Center are scheduled to appear before the Plenary of the Senate to answer complaints of “horrendous conditions” at that referral hospital.
Dr. Dahn and the Board members were cited to meet with Plenary on Tuesday, August 23, but a letter from the Ministry of Health to the Senate indicated that Dr. Dahn was out of the country and requested it be rescheduled for today.
The Senate at its 55th day sitting voted to cite Minister Dahn and the JFK Board in response to a letter from Montserrado County Senator Geraldine Doe Sheriff in which she recounted the difficulties needy citizens go through at the JFK to get a simple laboratory analysis which, she said, sometimes takes a day.
Senator Sheriff furthermore referred to the alarming number of insane people on the streets of the country, some carrying harmful objects that pose threats to the movement of people.
Recalling that the Ministry of Health has over the years denied this category of citizens their basic rights to shelter, food, clothing as well as medical services, Senator Sheriff wondered what has happened to the Social Welfare aspect of the Ministry.
This department, now assigned to the Ministry of Gender and Development, is made up of specialized units operated by Social Welfare to assist the families with the problems of child abuse and spouse/cohabitant battering to restore normal functioning and to safeguard the interest of the children affected by custody/guardianship disputes, and referred by the Courts.
Senator Sheriff’s statement was buttressed by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Senator Peter Coleman, who warned that if pressure was not brought to bear on the Chairman of the JFK Board, who happens to be the Minister of Health, to ensure that the Amended JFK Law that was passed is implemented, “we are not going to go anywhere and our people will continue to suffer. There is a need for a change of administration at the JFK and the way it is run,” he maintained.