JFK Workers Reject Re-appointment of GA McDonald and Deputy

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JFK.jpg
JFK Medical Center.

Demand President Weah rescind their nominations

Workers at the nation’s major referral hospital, the John Fitzgerald Kennedy (JFK) Memorial Medical Center, have threatened to down their tools in protest against the imminent reappointment of the hospital’s General Administrator and her Deputy, Dr. Wvannie-Mae Scott McDonald and Ms. Munah Tarpeh, respectively, by President George Weah.

Tensions rose at the hospital on Wednesday when angry workers led by the JFK Workers Union gathered in anticipation of a meeting with some members of the governing Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) transitional team who, according to reports, had gone there to officially announce the reappointment of the hospital’s administrators.

The leadership of the workers union said they are very bitter and disappointed with the manner in which the two have, for the past twelve years, administered the affairs of the nation’s premier healthcare center, saying they can no longer work with the administrator and her lieutenant.

The union leaders include David Gwei, president; Washington Taingay, vice president; Archie Theo, general secretary; and Nicholas Koffa, spokesperson.

Koffa told the Daily Observer that the leadership of Dr. McDonald has kept the hospital down and practically enslaved the workers. “We cannot work with these people anymore.  When you enter the hospital you will feel bad about yourself. Workers are being treated like slaves and we cannot tolerate this any more,” he said.

According to Koffa, some of the pressing issues workers face under  Dr. McDonald’s leadership include discrepancies in salaries, especially workers of the same department and status; wrongful dismissal of employees without due process, which he termed as another hallmark of “this wicked administrator and her cohorts”; and lack of improvement of the hospital’s infrastructure.

Dr. Wvannie Scott-McDonald, General Administrator, JFK Medical Center

Dr. McDonald and her deputy’s reappointments, sources indicate, are being cleverly concealed and will be announced very soon.

“Some of our colleagues stay in the cold for five to six years without being employed but when people of their interest are brought in, they get employment status the same day.

“Our doctors cannot get even a fitting house. There are too many things happening at the level of JFK. We are not against them as individuals, but we are against their selfish behavior and the sheer wickedness being meted out against us here as workers,” he claimed.

Koffa continued: “It is against this backdrop that we are resolved to resist their reappointment because they are of no help to this institution. If President Weah is calling for power to the people and change as we saw during the campaign, he should reconsider his decision to reappoint those people here. They will never work in accordance with his vision. I know these people and I know what I’m saying. They are only here to get their bank accounts fat, but are not working in the interest of the Liberian people.”

Koffa is calling for some new faces “that will come here to bring changes that will improve the healthcare situation and employees’ welfare. We want the status and standard of JFK to improve so that it can compete with its counterparts in our sub region.”

Meanwhile, LNP officers secured the entire compound prior to the arrival of the transitional team—a strategy many of the workers thought was meant to intimidate them. “They brought police officers on the compound to intimidate us, but we said that we don’t need police and nobody was protesting here so there was no need for that,”  Koffa, told the Daily Observer yesterday.

But unfortunately when the transitional team arrived, they were not able to officially present the reappointed officials to the workers. Some influential members, including Senator Peter Coleman and Representative Saah Joseph did not appear for the meeting, neither did the reappointed officials.

The transitional team led by Dr. Jerry Brown of the ELWA hospital, informed the workers that they should work with Dr. McDonald and her deputy as a vetting process was still going on—although this contravenes the mandate of the President, who had said that the head of human resources (HR) should take charge of ministries, autonomous agencies and other government entities.

“We are aware that these people have been reappointed but they are using clever attempts to play with our intelligence, but this won’t work,” Koffa warned.

He said further that the action of the team appeared insincere and had political undertones. He put it this way: “When we asked why the HR  could not take charge of the hospital as mandated by the President, Dr. Brown explained that the HR is not a signatory to the hospital’s bank accounts. But this should not be an excuse because in management when an official  is leaving there is a letter of authorization that is passed down to the incoming leader.

“Their presentation was not clear, it has political undertones and we will not agree to it. The team was not able to tell us how long these people are going to stay at the hospital—we demanded a time frame,” said Koffa.

They revealed that the Deputy Administrator of the hospital, Munah Tarpeh, is a niece of President Weah’s confidante and Commerce Minister Designate, Wilson Tarpeh, who has reportedly bragged that it was her uncle who ‘made Weah’ and as such she cannot be removed from her post. “She’s boasting in the compound that nobody can remove her because her uncle made Weah president,” he noted.

Meanwhile, the union leaders corroborated reports that the administrator and her deputy “looted” the facility in the wake of President Weah’s pronouncement. “They brought in a jeep and a pickup truck and carried away freezers, flower pots, curtains, beds and 60 bags of rice from the kitchen,” union leaders claimed.

The Daily Observer made several mobile phone calls and forwarded text messages to both General Administrator and Deputy General Administrator, Dr. McDonald and Ms. Tarpeh, for their reactions to the demands and allegations of the workers, but neither of them responded up to press time yesterday.

24 COMMENTS

  1. Why is it so difficult for our reporters to verify their stories before publishing them?

    There was no time when the transitional team went to announce the reappointment of anyone instead they had meeting to inform workers on the prevailing situation.

  2. What meh!! Are those the only qualified people for these positions? Look, with all due respect Mr. President, please do something to improve the situation at our various health care centers. Makes us proud despite the odds.

    • Everything in Liberia is different. I think every national institution like JFK have board of directors. These people should be the ones voting for/or appointing, recommending a new director, head, or President for such a hege institution like JFK. Anything contrary to what is the best for Liberia will definitely be counter-productive. Liberians need a complete change for a better Liberia.

  3. 2, 2018 at 1:03 pm
    Doesn’t the hospital have a board of directors? I am surprised knowing that president can appoint hospital staff too.

    Reply

  4. If these folks have served JFK for 12 years and conditions have not improved, what new strategy are they bringing to improve things at this institution? JFK needs new administrators especially given those bad news that has engulfed this institution and the terrible working conditions under which workers have been treated. Liberians are well aware that under this administration, Liberians have been held against their will and hundreds of Liberians have died at this institution due to neglect. This new leadership of our Nation has an obligation to improve the lives of our people by bringing onboard competent people with integrity and transparency.

    When workers are no pleased with their employer, moral is low and most tend not to work with pride and dignity. JFK, like the RIA in Marshall, is the face of health-care in this Nation and therefore, nepotism and other vices should not be the determining factor for employment at this important institution. I will safely recommend Mrs. Tarloh Kwiawonkpa for this position without hesitation. She already manages a major hospital in the United States and can bring new leadership style, pride and improvements to this institution. Liberia needs her best and brightest at this critical time.

  5. Mr. President why do you insist on listening to this old woman Ellen. Her time is over. Let her go. You won with a wider margin than she has ever won with. Find your own people or post job announcements and let people apply. These women are from the old girls’ club of Ellen. Useless and useless. We have other people qualified.

    • I do not really understand why the Nation only and highest medical center should be politicized at this critical juncture. The JFK is not in any case like Ministry of Justice or Freeport of Monrovia. The President or political class should not be the ones determining who should lead this noble medical institution. This institution have many important functions in Liberia. It should be teaching medical students practically at the same time saving life by providing better health care to the Liberians people and all residence of Liberia.
      The board of Directors, the medical Doctors team, and Nurses Association of Liberia should be those who should be meeting in close doors to decide who lead this noble institution. JFK is a academic place. This institution is not a “play ground for political show”, where politicians should go to show their political power. We are talking about a medical institution, and you telling me the President of Liberia, George Weah government`s transitional team went there to tell Doctors and Nurses who their new leaders should be, are you killing me, why Liberians can not change for the better?

      I do not understand Liberians leaders sometimes. Do they understand the meaning of decentralization of power? What knowledge do those people have pertaning to JFK?
      For example, a Doctors from ELWD Hospital, and other local politicians?

      These people are seem not intereting Liberia`s development, but their own interests, and pockets, even at the cost of other people life. Let the board of Directors and Nurses Association heads and other medical experts decide who lead JFK, not politicians who been around for so many years, and have not improve things. What do they know about medication, why Liberians like joking with everything?

  6. Munah Tarpeh is there because of nepotism. Mcdonald is there because of Ellen. Post their cv and we will see that they have nothing to offer our people. Munah is riding on the coattails of her uncle. NO Way Mr. President. CLEAN HOUSE.

  7. J.F.K is due for a new set leadership, and to return the same poor leadership is a direct insult all Liberians, and like rubbing salt into our national sore….No! and hell No!

  8. How can Madam Tarpeh be riding her uncle’s coattail when the uncle was in opposition for the duration of the outgoing regime? She is there because she is qualified and competent. Look for something else to say and don’t let pure envy and jealousy consume you; instead, go prepare yourself and wait for your time before it’s too late.

    • My brother she is there because Wvannie Scott MacDonald was asked to take her in straight from College, to serve as her shadow. Dr MacDonald said as much during the program dedicating the outside renovation of JFK.

  9. Investigation into alleged looting be carried out. It’s so embarrassing if Generally Administrator and her deputy did loot the hospital as alleged.

  10. I have nothing against old folks but it’s time for this old lady to retire. Look at that facility…it looks like an old warehouse, not a hospital.

  11. I am beginning to suspect that this president does not have the spine to make decision of his own. He appears to be remotely control by Ellen Johnson. If not, then he is grossly incompetent and does not have the knowledge to run this country. God save us.

  12. The problem in Liberia is that l;eaders do not listen to victims on the job. I think President
    George M. Weah, if he want make the difference in this JFK long time problem, he has to
    listen to the workers because they are the ones affected by behavior of the Administrator
    and her deputy.

    Here were were and are that the American President John F. Kennedy built us a hospital
    of a class and yet problems have persist in that hospital time and again. In fact, some of
    in the diaspora have termed the hospital John F. Kennedy- JFK for just for killing jfk! So, to
    turn the hospital around and be an efficient, people oriented and pro Government, George
    Weah must be a man enough to solve its long time problems to make it a real referral
    hospital.

  13. The problem in Liberia is that leaders do not listen to victims on the job. I think President
    George M. Weah, if he want to make the difference in this JFK long time problem, he has to
    listen to the workers because they are the ones affected by the behavior of the Administrator
    and her deputy.

    Here were were and are that the American President John F. Kennedy built us a hospital
    of a class and yet problems have persisted in that hospital time and again. In fact, some of
    us in the diaspora have termed the hospital John F. Kennedy- JFK for just for killing jfk! So, to
    turn the hospital around and be an efficient, people oriented and pro Government, George
    Weah must be a man enough to solve its long time problems to make it a real referral
    hospital.

  14. Correction hereunder

    The problem in Liberia is that leaders do not listen to victims on the job. I think President
    George M. Weah, if he want to make the difference in this JFK long time problem, he has to
    listen to the workers because they are the ones affected by the behavior of the Administrator
    and her deputy.

    Here were were and are that the American President John F. Kennedy built us a hospital
    of a class and yet problems have persisted in that hospital time and again. In fact, some of
    us in the diaspora have termed the hospital John F. Kennedy- JFK for just for killing jfk! So, to
    turn the hospital around and be an efficient, people oriented and pro Government, George
    Weah must be a man enough to solve its long time problems to make it a real referral
    hospital.

  15. Correction hereunder Daily IObserver, ,why you do not want publish the correction?

    The problem in Liberia is that leaders do not listen to victims on the job. I think President
    George M. Weah, if he want to make the difference in this JFK long time problem, he has to
    listen to the workers because they are the ones affected by the behavior of the Administrator
    and her deputy.

    Here were were and are that the American President John F. Kennedy built us a hospital
    of a class and yet problems have persisted in that hospital time and again. In fact, some of
    us in the diaspora have termed the hospital John F. Kennedy- JFK for just for killing jfk! So, to
    turn the hospital around and be an efficient, people oriented and pro Government, George
    Weah must be a man enough to solve its long time problems to make it a real referral
    hospital.

  16. Mr. Present, healthy nation is resourceful. Listen to the voice of wisdom.

    JFK requires a complete overhaul.The institution has lost it face value. It is no more a place of soul refreshing rather a place of depression and agony.

    The patients as well as the employees are living in fears. The service fees are so unbearable. The facility has turned into a semi-private facility.

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