The management of Liberia’s biggest referral hospital, John F. Kennedy Medical Center (JFKMC), has termed as “irresponsible, reckless, and wholly unfounded media reports” that seven patients, who were kept in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) on oxygen, had died due to power failure.
The hospital, in a press statement issued late Wednesday, evening, condemned the report, which they said has a “propaganda agenda” and had been circulated by a talk-show host, who in their view “has reported on outright lies and ignorance.”
JFK stated that the delivery of oxygen does not depend on the provision of electricity, as widely understood by this talk-show host, whom they did not directly name.
The hospital has meanwhile called on the public not to panic by what this talk-show personality had said, adding: “Everything is being done to raise the standard of care at the JFK Medical Center.
“JFK management also urges journalists to remain professional by verifying whatever information they wish to publish or broadcast as any negative information could damage the image of not only state institutions but the country as a whole.”
Despite the hospital not directly naming the talk-show host, Mr. Henry Costa, lead presenter of the Costa Morning Show, which broadcasts via the Internet, had earlier posted on the social media platform — Facebook — yesterday that “When Henry Costa talks about the ills and the incompetence in the system, they say he’s rude. When we exposed the evil and negligent practices at the John F. Kennedy Memorial Medical Center, some said I was trying to blackmail the JFK management. Now it is being reported that 7 patients who were on oxygen died as the result of power failure. The Justice Minister, and a member of JFK’s Board, Frederick Cherue’s daughter is said to be one of the victims. Fellow Liberians, let’s demand justice now! The entire JFK management must be fired, and the hospital be shut down for serious improvement!”
Minutes after Costa had posted his comment on Facebook, it began to generate mixed reactions, with some agreeing with him on the hospital’s closure.
However, one Mohamed J.M. Kromah urged everyone to join hands in solving the nation’s problems: “Yes, my dear, we all have to join hands together as Liberians to find the solutions to JFK’s problems but not to close it down, because closing the hospital at this time will be causing more harm to innocent people.”
Costa is no stranger to the JFK Management. A few months ago, he and his former co-host, Mr. Woods Nyanton, kept JFK in their discussions for nearly a month. They had exposed alleged corrupt practices and unprofessionalism by the hospital management.
However, everything Costa had said against the hospital’s management remains to be proven right or wrong. No investigation has been launched to substantiate the allegations.