-Dr. Jefferson Sibley discloses
The Phebe referral hospital in Suakoko, Bong County, is in dire need of help to secure laboratory equipment, drugs and electricity to improve its health service delivery, the medical director, Dr. Jefferson Sibley, has said.
Dr. Sibley informed this newspaper that over the past years the hospital has incurred a little over US$300,000 as debt to vendors.
He made the disclosure at a program marking the Phebe Hospital and School of Nursing exercises on Wednesday, July 25, where more than 90 persons received diplomas in various disciplines.
At the ceremony, Sibley disclosed that the hospital is not receiving adequate budgetary allocation from the government that would effectively run the hospital to meet the health needs of patients.
He said that the hospital uses monthly, 6,000 gallons of fuel, something he said is causing the hospital huge sums of money.
Dr. Sibley added, “Because of this, we are indebted to our vendors who do not want to trust us any longer with supply of fuel.
“Without electricity, we will not be able to run this hospital, because running an institution of such on generators is cost intensive,” Dr. Sibley emphasized.
As for the the Paramedical School, Dr. Sibley said that the school needs US$800,000 to effectively operate annually, “but during the last fiscal year, the school received US$100,000, forcing the administration to slice money from what is being allotted to the hospital in the budget just to run the school.
“Few years back, government mandated us to run this institution free-of-charge, with the sole strategy of bridging the human resource gap existing in our health system. Things went fine during those years, with the support of our partners; but right now, partners have suffered funding fatigue, so funding for this school is now squarely in the hands of the government which is not adequate,” Dr. Sibley explained.
He said that Phebe Hospital is now faced with huge challenges, which include the sewer system and the supply of electricity. He said at certain times of the day, the administration gives electric power to strategic parts of the hospital, including the operating theaters, in order to reduce the workload on the machine.
Earlier, the president of the Liberia Nursing Association, Mrs. Gloria Stevens, lauded the administration for the services the hospital continues to provide to the people in building human capacity.
Mrs. Stevens used the occasion to challenge the graduates to exhibit love and commitment to the nursing profession.
“You took oath to save lives. So go and prove that love to those in need of medical services, but not to misuse the profession,” she charged the graduates.
In the 2018/2019 fiscal budget, a proposed budget of US$1,981,976 was projected for the hospital, but it has not been established if there has been a reduction in that amount.