In demand to ‘save more lives’ of sick persons and persons affected with HIV Virus/AIDS, the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital and the National AIDS Commission have separately appealed to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee for budgetary increment.
The JFK has appealed for at least US$US$2.5 million to be added on the US$5,076,924 in the 2018/2019 Budget to complete the renovation of the hospital, including the 4th floor (for bed in-patients).
JFK Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. Jerry Browne said the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and the Children Emergency Unit, when constructed, would help save critical patients upon arrival, including the children.
He made the appeal on Monday, June 17, 2018 during the Expenditure Budget Hearing of the 2018/2019 Budget.
Dr. Browne also said the JFK’s increased budgetary allotment is intended to increase in-patient beds to 350; make the remaining six (6) Emergency Rooms operational, hire at least 75 nurses and nine specialized doctors to operate and train Liberian doctors on the MRI and other machines.
“We want to equip the JFK for our people not to leave the country for advanced medication,” Dr. Browne said.
“We want the JFK to remain the country’s well-to-do referral hospital and by this, we want your financial support through appropriation.”
Meanwhile, the Acting Chairperson of the National AIDS Commission, Madam Theodosia Kolee, has further appealed for an increment of their budgetary allotment of US$627k to US$1.5m to enable the Commission to adequately respond to the activities of persons living with HIV and AIDS.
She said with the growing rate of the people carrying the HIV/AIDS are at 43,000; and Montserrado, Grand Bassa and Margibi Counties been the high burning counties, the National AIDS Commission is under intense obligation to continuously track their well-being, activities and negotiate with international communities for their medications.
“The US$627,000 is very small to be used by the Commission against the 15 counties and the 43,000 of persons are currently carrying the virus in terms tracking and response, so we are appealing for US$1.5m.”
It may be recalled, the 54th Legislature, through the Joint Budget, Public Accounts, Expenditure and Audit Committee began scrutiny of the Expenditure Component of the 2018/2019 Budget in a public hearing on Friday, June 15. The FY 2018/2019 Budget is in the tone of US$562.4m.
The expenditure hearing followed the completion of the Revenue Portion, which was held in closed hearings.
President George M. Weah has submitted to the Legislature a proposed budget of US$562.4m targeting the government’s projection for revenue and expenditure for fiscal year 2018/2019.
According to the summary of the 2018/2019 Budget, the expenditure subdivide into two main categories, recurrent expenditure of US$488.7m or 87% and US$73.4m or 13% for Public Sector Investment Plan (PSIP).
The recurrent expenditure which is primarily used to fund government’s administrative and routine operational cost is expected to comprise the following; US$303.3m for compensation of employees including provisions for new staffs for new staff from the security, health and education sectors; and US$79.14m for goods and services including educational and essential health supplies.
Others are US$63.57 in grants to government and non-governmental service delivery entities; US$30m for debt service, including US$7m for domestic debt services and interest and US$23m for payment of external debts principal and interest; US$1.71m for subsidy to non-governmental organizations complimentary government’s efforts in strategic service delivery; US$48m in social benefits for severance to former elected officers and US$10.97m for non-financial assets relevant for road maintenance and the acquisition new assets for government operations.