Phebe Hospital Medical Director Dr. Jefferson Silbey says patients will be let out to shut down the hospital if government does not intervene to remedy an alleged lack of budgetary support that has pushed the hospital to borrowing fuel to operate.
Dr. Sibley told the NewDawn’s Bong County Correspondent over the weekend that the Hospital has only one week of operations to the public, warning that patients will be let out if government does not intervene to remedy the situation.
Dr. Sibley complains that the facility has been operating on credited fuel for the past five months due to lack of budgetary support, adding that the hospital has also gone out of drugs and is pressured to only operate for one week.
He says the government referral hospital in Suakoko still owes its vendors thousands of U.S. dollars for fuel supplied, something he says, is pushing the hospital to its imminent shutdown.
The Phebe Hospital Medical Officer is at the same time calling on the new government of President George Manneh Weah to act fast so that the health facility does not shutdown.
Commenting on other challenges, Dr. Sibley says the health service delivery system of Bong County is in a total mess due to the dysfunctional state of almost all of the ambulances used to transport patients.
“We have a very serious situation in this county …, all of the ambulances that this county has are broken down with the exception of one,” he says.
He mostly complained about the transportation of pregnant women and those in need of emergency medical attention at various health facilities in the county.
Dr. Sibley notes that four out of the five ambulances that the county has at its disposal are not functional anymore, lamenting that it is hampering the work of the county health team.
As a result of the current situation in the county, Dr. Sibley alarms that citizens who are in need of ambulance services are being denied such services saying, some of the ambulances have been down for over six months.
He says the entire county which comprises of four large districts, is now dependent on a single ambulance to cater to emergency cases. Though he did not indicate who is responsible for the maintenance of the ambulances, he, however, noted that due to the present situation, there is a likelihood that the Hospital may lose ground in the fight against the high incidence of maternal and newborn mortality in the county.
It is reported that the incidence of maternal and newborn mortality reduced drastically in the country in recent time. But Dr. Sibley is warning that such gains may be reversed if authorities concerned do not do all they can to have the situation reversed immediately.
He says the lives of mothers and children are the most in danger, and they are at risk because they cannot walk far distances while pregnant or carrying young children to seek medical attention.
According to him, the one ambulance that the c ounty has in use cannot serve the entire Bong County, emphasizing on the danger citizens find themselves in.
By Joseph Titus Yekeryan in Bong –Edited by Winston W. Parley