Editorial: Senator Bartekwa’s belated cry
Grand Kru County Senator Numene T. Bartekwa’s cry against hospitals and other health facilities across the country for refusing or turning away patients reportedly for lack of beds without doing anything to stabilize them, is belated.
In a communication to Senate Plenary on Tuesday, 24th January he asked the Liberian Senate to consider amending the National Health Law of Liberia that would require hospitals and health facilities not to reject emergency cases from 6PM to 7AM daily.
According to him, if patients hear health authorities saying ‘no bed’, it further breaks them down and exacerbate their situation.
While the concern raised by the Grand Kru county Senator is germane, we think it is belated and a mere publicity stunt, because this is a practice that has existed for so long in our health sector. Be that as it may, the power to act in remedying this situation squarely lies with the senate.
We are however glad that he has written Plenary of the Senate, asking his colleagues of intervention in a matter that has caused the untimely deaths of so many of our compatriots.
Poor services or the lack of services in our health sector has affected our people in so many ways and this should stop.
The onus is with lawmakers on Capitol Hill who presides over the national budget and make appropriations to increase allotments for the health sector and make sure areas that are lagging get attention.
Too often, we hear hospitals and other health facilities refusing helpless patients brought to the care for so-called lack of beds or space. Family members, already stressed up, are constrained to move from hospitals to hospitals with sick relatives, especially during night hours in search of service.
The qualification of a health institution is not the physical structure or building but the quality of staff and services provided to the public with the primary objective of preserving lives. Sadly, in our country, this is not the case, as bureaucratic bottlenecks seem to take over the key function of saving lives.
Disappointingly in Liberia, hospitals lack adequate beds, gloves, PPEs, electricity, generator and fuel, needless to talk of C.T. Scan and dialysis machines to serve patients, which lead to their early death.
We wonder when did Senator Bartekwa, who has served in the legislature twice, recognize poor services in our hospitals? Is it because a family member or a close friend of his has been a victim that has prompted his letter to Plenary?
The Grand Kru Senator should be told in no uncertain term that as public servants, the welfare of the people should always be prioritized, particularly a critical issue like health irrespective of our diversity, not only when we are directly affected, for the senator’s cry is belated. Editing by Jonathan Browne
Thanks for this editorial. You hits the nail on the head. It is truth that such request is belated.