The Administration of the Phebe Hospital and School of Nursing through its Board of Directors has with immediate effect suspended four of its employees for their alleged financial malpractice.
According to a press release dated July 19, 2019, a copy of which is in the possession of this newspaper, identified the four employees as the administrator, Kerson Saykor; the chief financial officer, Patrick Jackson; the resource manager, Jonathan Pewu; and the senior accountant, Jeremiah Akoi.
The hospital’s medical director, Dr. Jefferson Sibley, said the four will remain under suspension until a full investigation and financial audit are conducted.
The decision by the hospital’s Board of Directors and the Administration comes amid public uproar on the appalling situation at that referral hospital, and reported wadding of payroll allegedly by the suspended four employees.
“The public is hereby advised not to do business with any of the four suspended individuals in the name of the hospital as the Administration and the Board of Directors will not be responsible for any results thereof,” the release added.
Though none of the suspended employees has spoken to the press, it can be recalled that in some of the local dailies, Kerson Saykor, persistently reported the lack of drugs and electricity at the hospital, thus leaving nurses to depend on lighting candles and other torches to provide light for wards in the absence of standby generators.
In May of this year, the ministers of Health and Finance and Development Planning appeared before the Plenary of the 54th Legislature in response to communications from Bong County Electoral District #3 Representative Josiah Marvin Cole, on alarming reports from Phebe Hospital about the lack of life saving drugs and electricity, and that the facility was at the verge of closure.
In his letter to Plenary, Rep. Cole said that it beats his imagination to hear reports of Phebe Hospital shutting down operations due to lack of funding for fuel and medicines.
The two ministers told that august body that in Fiscal Year 2018/2019, US$1.9 million was appropriated for Phebe Hospital and US$1.5 million was already disbursed.
The hospital’s Administration, which appeared on a recent local radio phone-in show, admitted receiving US$ 1.3 million allotment from the government for Fiscal Year 2018/2019, but not US$1.5 million as was earlier reported.
The Phebe Hospital was established in 1921 by Christian institutions, which include the Lutheran Church, Methodist Church and the Episcopal Church, but the hospital was reportedly turned over to government in 1974, due to lack of adequate donor funding. The Phebe School of Nursing is the first nursing school in the country.