On the eve of their two-week Easter break, members of the 53rd Senate at their plenary sitting Tuesday, April 8, repealed two Acts, affecting the John F. Kennedy Medical Center and the Ministry of Gender & Development respectively.
Acting upon a report by the Joint Senate Committee on Health, Social Welfare, Women and Children’s Affairs, the Judiciary, Claims, Petition and Human Rights, the Senate unanimously passed a yea vote to firstly repeal Chapter 60 of the Executive Law creating the John F. Kennedy Memorial Center and replaced it with a New Chapter 60 entitled: The John F. Kennedy Medical Center Act (2013).
The Senate’s decision, according to its secretariat, is in furtherance of that august body’s desire to ensure that most if not all autonomous institutions like the John F. Kennedy Medical Center are depoliticized.
The purpose of the center, according to a new Act governing the facility, would be to provide specialist care for persons suffering from illnesses, disorders and disabilities and provide the specialized services and facilities of a specialized hospital; it should conduct educational activities for the purpose of training health professionals and cover the needs of the various areas of discipline and proffer to the teaching hospital of the University of Liberia; it should promote health-related scientific research and participate in so far as circumstances may warrant in assisting the Ministry of Health & Social Welfare (MoSHW) to promote community outreach.
“Based on the urgent need to enhance the health care delivery system and an immediate impact, the Act will benefit ordinary Liberians, the committee therefore recommends that the Act be enacted into law.”
The Senate also on Tuesday amended Chapter 38 of the New Executive Law that established the Ministry of Gender & Development and replaced it with Chapter 38 entitled: the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection.
The Joint Committee’s report to the plenary stated that during its meetings and consultations with experts and citizens, it learnt that the Act seeks to repeal those provisions affecting social welfare of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare with functions and powers to be transferred to the proposed Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection. The executive law, which created the Ministry of Gender and Development, will also be amended to have its functions and powers transferred to the proposed Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection.
The purpose of the proposed Ministry according to the report, is to help promote development, empowerment and protection of women and children as well as the welfare and integration of persons with disabilities, the vulnerable and extremely poor, the excluded and disadvantaged.