Senate confirms ‘controversial’ Health Minister
This paper has reliable gathered that the plenary of the Liberian Senate has overwhelmingly voted and subsequently confirmed Doctor Wilhelmina Jallah, as Minister of Health, despite the controversy that surrounds her nomination and subsequent confirmation hearing.
The senate took the decision on Thursday, 22 March in executive session, barred from the press. On March 5, the confirmation hearings of Dr. Jallah was unprecedentedly aborted by members of the Senate’s Statutory Committee on Health, Gender and Social Welfare for what the committee termed as unconstitutional and unrealistic for one to be in court for alleged ethical transgression and at the same time face the senate for confirmation.
The committee, chairs by Grand Kru County Senator Peter Coleman, also a medical doctor and ex-minister of health, argues that doing so would be a bad precedent for the government to have someone who is facing legal battle for professional ‘blunder’ that led to the death of a fellow Liberian at her (Doctor Jallah’s) clinic, Women of Hope Clinic in Paynesville to appear for confirmation.
Doctor Wilhelmina Jallah is currently facing a lawsuit for the ‘wrongful death’ of the late Pastor Desiree Fahnbulleh, who died at her private hospital – Hope for Women International Incorporated hospital – during childbirth on December 8, 2016. She was not in Liberia when the incident occurred.
However, she left the victim, who was in her direct care to one of the staff at the private hospital that specializes in women’s health. The Fahnbulleh family had filed a US$6 million action of damages for wrongful death in a lawsuit against the hospital with the 6th Judicial Circuit Civil Law Court at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia.
Days after her nomination by President George Weah, the family claims that she’s a culpable for the death of their relative and they have been protesting against her nomination.
Larry Fahnbulleh, widower of the late Pastor Desiree Fahnbulleh, who is leads the family protest, is urging President Weah to withdraw the appointment. The Liberia Medical and Dental Council (LMDC) in its 2017 investigative report held the Women of Hope Hospital International liable for the ‘wrongful death’.
Larry Fahnbulleh, widower of the late Pastor Desiree Fahnbulleh, who is leading the family protest, is urging President George Weah to withdraw Dr. Jallah’s appointment.
The Liberia Medical and Dental Council (LMDC) in its 2017 investigative report held Women of Hope Hospital International liable for the ‘wrongful death’.
But the hospital argues that the report was not supported by evidence, “making it speculative, inconclusive, uncertain and, therefore questionable and it did not hold them, defendants liable for medical malpractice or negligence.”
On the situation of Dr. Cooper not being qualified to perform the caesarian section, Momoh alleged that Cooper had practiced medicine for the past six years at the John F. Kennedy Memorial Center (JFKMC) and, also in Grand Cape Mount County, where she served as a medical doctor and had performed.
Meanwhile, Senate Secretary Nagbolor Singbeh, has forwarded the confirmation letter to the Office of President Weah for the appointment of Dr. Jallah as Liberia’s next Minister of Health.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor -Editing by Jonathan Browne