House to Probe JFK Financial Conduct

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The Plenary of the House of Representatives yesterday mandated its Committees on Ways, Means, Finance, Social Welfare and Judiciary to probe claims of improper financial and employment practices at the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital.

Plenary gave the Committees one week to investigate claims of rampant corruption at the hospital.

The action was prompted by a complaint filed against the hospital’s management by Montserrado County District # 4 Representative Henry Fahnbulleh and Montserrado County District # 3 Representative, Bill Twehway.

Representatives Fahnbulleh and Twehway in a joint statement addressed to Speaker Alex Tyler dated February 3, alleged that fees collected from patients by the JFK management are exorbitant thus depriving ordinary Liberians of the right to medical care.

The two lawmakers further claimed that the hospital management, without the knowledge of the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, has stashed away in a local bank account millions of Liberian dollars in fees collected from patients.

Representatives Fahnbulleh and Twehway colleagues that the JFK management deceived Plenary through the Committee on Ways, Means and Finance when it requested US$6.8m in appropriation as subsidy while it has millions of Liberian dollars lying idle.

Moreover, the two Montserrado lawmakers claimed that the hospital management runs a patronage payroll system of higher salaries and benefits for healthcare workers who favor management whereas those who adhere to professional conduct and just want to do their work, are paid less. The two representatives notified their colleagues that qualification and experience are no longer the basis of recruitment and retention at the JFK.

They recommended that the Plenary act decisively to redeem the situation.

It may be recalled that Montserrado County lawmakers, Saah Joseph and Edwin M. Snowe recently criticized the JFK administration for poor medical practices and called on the President to overhaul the hospital’s management.

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