Home Science Liberia: No Basic Medical Supplies at Jackson F. Doe Hospital- Doctors Alarm

Liberia: No Basic Medical Supplies at Jackson F. Doe Hospital- Doctors Alarm

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By: Trokon Wrepue – [email protected]

Doctors assigned at the Jackson F. Doe Hospital in Tapita, Nimba County are agitating the unavailability of essential drugs for patients especially in the Emergency, Operation room and the Pediatric ward.

“The unavailability of essential drugs especially in the ER, OR Peds ward etc thereby creating or necessitating loses of lives that are easily preventable must stop”. They said

In a communication to the Chief Medical Officer of the Jackson F. Doe Medical Center Dr. Kalamon Wullie seen by The Stage Media dated April 29, 2021, the aggrieved doctors mentioned that substandard lab materials that are effectuating repeated false negative and positive results are creating havoc in both clinical judgements.

The aggrieved doctors want the medical center to upgrade care for patients which they think is unavailable at the only regional referral hospital in the North of the country.

“Reagents and substandard lab materials that are effectuating repeated false-negative and false-positive results thereby creating havoc in both clinical judgments and care for patients should be upgraded”. They said in the communication to the hospital CMO.

They mentioned in the communication that there is no drug in the hospital and that the patients have to buy everything.

“Here on like other facilities they charge fees for service, the hospital also has a guest house which generates funds but the money is shared on a weekly basis amongst the administrator and his gangs. We have proved to this”

In an interview with TSM, one of the doctors who asked anonymously said “you have one nurse or at most two nurses working on a shift that has to take care of 20-30 patients.  Base on this, we the Liberian Doctors have decided to take a go-slow action tomorrow until the memo about prescription be placed down and other issued handled”.

“We have complained about these issues but things getting worse every day. We’ve already talked to few news agencies about tomorrow and they are on standby” the doctor continued.

Continuous Disrespect

On the other hand, the doctors of the Jackson F. Doe medical center in their communication warned that the continuous gross disrespect to doctors by administrators of the hospital must stop immediately.

According to them, on April 22, 2021, a citation from the administrator with the subject “Night Time Prescriptions” demeans this Noble Profession of medicine and shows disrespect to the credibility and sincerity of the Liberian doctors.

“We request that the citation be placed down and an apology posted immediately upon receiving this communication”.

The citation a copy which is in the possession of TSM states, “due to some feedback received from some staffs who seek treatment at night, the management of JDF has adjusted the policy on drug prescription for hospital staff as follow:

  • All prescriptions during the day time must be done by consultants/head of departments
  • None consultants are allowed to prescribe for staff only at night when there is no consultant on duty. Said prescriptions are subject to review by consultants the next morning”.

The citation is causing serious controversies amongst doctors and hospital administrators of the JFD Hospital in Nimba County.

“At first we were allowed to see all patients, both staffs and non-staffs only interns were not allowed to see staffs”. The doctors said.

“We don’t know why this memo came up, we asked the CMO and he had no idea about it. He even placed the first one down but the administrator instructed HR to place another one on the walls.

We wrote administration last week outlining our complaints and giving time for the communication to be placed down and an apology sent to us but nothing has been done in that direction”. Another doctor who asked for anonymity told TSM.

 The doctors of the Jackson F. Doe Medical Center are also calling for the establishment of a worker union at the hospital.

The doctors also want quarterly projections of the hospital’s incomes and expenditures which they noted will help them strategize and up-keep in areas they are lacking since they are the ones that both see and plan investigations for patients’ care.

Meanwhile, in communication in the possession of TSM, the administration of the Jackson F. Doe Hospital said it has finally reached a compromise with the doctors and promised to address their grievances one by one.

We finally reached a compromise, we will address their grievances one by one, we will remain open to them and we assured them that patients’ care which is the hospital’s first and foremost priority will always be the hospital objective. Dr. Kalamon Wullie when contacted.

He mentioned that the JFD is not exempted from the challenges facing most health care systems in Liberia. “Notwithstanding, the hospital remains fully opened and functional in the wake of the challenges”. He continued.

“Doctors are the fulcrum of hospitals and we seriously know that. They are the major stakeholders in the hospital. I received the communication from our doctors where they raised several resolutions. Among the resolutions, some that are clinically related while some are non-clinical in other words administrative”.

But I want to inform you that I was appointed to the position of Chief Medical Officer (CMO) just a month ago, and most of the issues raised have been around for quite a long time. When I received the communication, I pleaded with them to remain calm and recognized their plight. Being a doctor (Specialist Surgeon), I perfectly understand and share every issue raised”. He told TSM.

The Jackson F. Doe Regional Referral is a government tertiary hospital located in Tappita, Nimba County. The hospital boasts of rendering a comprehensive healthcare system to Liberians outside Monrovia and citizens from nearby countries such as Guinea and Ivory Coast.

The JFD has both international and local specialists in the major areas of medicine which include General Surgery, Pediatrics, Internal medicine and Obstetrics & Gynecology.

JFD is also equipped with CT scans and other modern diagnostic materials.

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