The Liberian Senate on Tuesday, 26 February refused to pass a bill that aimed at establishing a fund to finance the provision of free health services and medical care for aged, disabled and infirm Liberian citizens.
After the Senate snubbed the bill, Grand Bassa County Sen. Nyonblee Kanga-Lawrence argues that passing the bill will not help.
“For now if we pass this bill it is for nothing, if the health sector is not reformed, nobody will get the benefit we think they deserve,” Senator Lawrence says.
She says the entire health care sector needs a reform, explaining how the one referral hospital that was serving three counties that includes Grand Bassa, is no longer functional after being gutted by fire a year ago.
Further, Sen. Lawrence says hospitals in her county suffer lack of electricity, drugs and equipment to carry out their work.
She claims that there is already free health service in the country, but she admits quickly that the alleged free health service is not effective because nobody is benefitting from it.
Sen. Lawrence maintains that lawmakers need to get all the health actors involved to discuss the health issues before all the other bills are added.
Also sharing his thoughts, River Gee County Sen. Commany Wesseh says to have a better health system, the country needs connectivity of roads.
He says old people and pregnant women need to ride on a smooth road to get to the health center.
Sen. Wesseh says the [bad] roads here increase people’s sickness.
Further, Sinoe County Sen. J. Milton Teahjay says he cannot pass a bill that the people in his county cannot benefit from.
Sen. Teah indicates that those in the various villages in Sinoe County need to benefit, but there is no road connectivity in those place right now.
For his part, River Cess County Sen. Dallas Gueh recommends that the Senate votes no to the bill because Liberians will not benefit like the way they should.
He sees the bill as an added burden on the Liberian budget.
But Grand Cape Mount County Senator Varney Sherman differs, saying the bill has no impact on the budget because the source of income for the bill is indicated.
By Ethel A. Tweh –Edited by Winston W. Parley