Written by: Henry Gboluma, Jr.
Bopolu County – The Chief Jallah Lone Medical Health Center (CJLMC) is facing series of constraints due to the Government of Liberia restriction on the disbursement of money to the hospital.
The CJLMC is the county’s main referral hospital providing general healthcare services including reproductive health, immunization, maternal and child health and mental health amongst others.
Dr. Claresia S. Jallah, medical director of the hospital, said the situation is a serious challenged for healthcare delivery and has affected the county for the past months.
At a health coordination meeting held on Thursday, February 15 in the county, Dr. Jallah said the situation has been worsen by a recent Presidential order – which says any operational funds above the US$5,000.00 threshold should go through the President’s office for approval.
“We continue to credit fuel from local business people to run the ambulance and the hospital, this current situation is seriously live threatened because we are struggling to get the quarterly allotment from the government due to the presidential order,” Dr. Jallah said.
What is even more complicated for the hospital accessing funds from the government is the name of the account that the budgetary allotment to the hospital was made. Instead of allotting money to the hospital during the budget preparation, the authorities instead allotted money to Bopolu Health Center – a hospital that is not in existence.
Dr. Jallah said the change of account name from ‘Bopolu Health Center’ to ‘Chief Jallah Lone Medical Center’ is now a serious challenge for the hospital.
“All the allotment we been getting was in Bopolu Health Center name, but the current check we running after is now changed to Chief Jallah Lone Medical Center,” she said.
The name of the paramedical health facility was changed from Bopolu Health Center to Chief Jallah Lone Medical Center in 2007, according to the hospital administration.
But even if the account name is changed to CJLMC today, the presidential order would still delay the administration in getting funds from the bank, Dr. Jallah said, adding that the situation has been communicated to the Chief Medical Officer of Liberia for a possible solution.
According to the January 2018 report from the hospital, there was no fuel to provide electricity and ambulance services for the hospital.
“We have arranged with vendors to credit fuel, and we are hopefully waiting to receive that fuel hopefully today. If we don’t receive that fuel, we will have no electricity,” she said.
The report also said the hospital lacks essential drugs usually supply by National Drug Service.
During the coordination meeting, she appealed to partners for some emergency supports to help save lives at the hospital.
The hospital gets US$ 270,000 fiscal budgetary allotment from the government.
The 2018 January report states that the hospital attended to 1,505 patients in its Out Patients Department (OPD), and 993 of these patients were females while the rest 512 were male patients.
Additionally, 141 patients were admitted for routine medical checkups and services in the same month. In total, the hospital provided services to 1,646 patients in January 2018 alone.