“There is serious administrative mismanagement at the Ministry of Health that has been highlighted for a very long time. I am talking to you with authority, and as an insider of the health sector of this country,” the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Senator (Dr.) Peter Coleman informed the Senate plenary.
The Grand Kru County Senator, speaking Tuesday during the 73rd sitting of the Senate, warned his colleagues that as long as they continue to pay lip service to the country’s health system, ineffective people will remain at the helm of administration of health. “And as long as the Executive branch of government wants to make a mockery of this Liberian Senate, even after this outbreak of Ebola, there will be outbreak of measles and other things,” Sen. Coleman warned.
Expressing outrage and disappointment, Dr. Coleman disclosed that currently, the immunization of Liberian children has dropped from 80% to less than 50%; and that the maternal mortality rate that was one of the worst in the world is now even more deplorable. According to him, women are dying in childbirth due to the perpetual closure of health institutions in the country.
“The reason why I decided to take this stance is to express my frustration, disgust and anger at the way in which the Executive branch of this government is managing the health system.”
The Senator, who represents the Senate on the National Ebola Task Force, promised not to be distracted by people he described as ‘lunatic and fanatic loyalists’ who at all cost will defend the Executive to the detriment of the Liberian people.
“I will continue to state that as long as this situation prevails, and we cannot call the Minister of Health to book on issues regarding the health sector, our country will continue to be classified as one of the worst places on earth to live.”
As chairman of the Committee on Health, but also representing the people of Grand Kru County, Senator Coleman said recent actions and statements by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf clearly show an attempt by the Executive Branch of Government to make sure that the Liberian Senate loses its respect.
“It is an attempt to make a mockery of this august body, and for us on the Committee on Health, these things have made us powerless; we are unable to carry on our activities. Just as we thought and were trying to deal with the issue of the two dismissed leaders of the health workers, a group of health workers last week appeared on the grounds of this Legislature stating that about 100 of them are being laid off by the John F. Kennedy Medical Center.
These are some of the facts, the problems that exist in the Liberian health system that people have been talking about for a very long time—the lack of leadership,” declared Sen. Coleman.