Addressing a news conference following a tour of the JFK facilities over the weekend, Dr. Scott-McDonald said it was actually administration that unearthed "those cases of corruption at the hospital and invited the Ministry of Justice to intervene. An investigation was conducted and some of the culprits are in court.”
She said one of the perpetrators who is now in court allegedly took subsidy check intended for the hospital and diverted same to a fake account he created at First International Bank (FIB) under the title: JFK (John Freeman Kennedy).
Dr. Scott-McDonald clarified that the hospital does not have an account at FIB.
Dr. McDonald indicated that although corruption remains a major challenge for the development of the hospital, the administrative team is committed to weeding out the menace from the system.
She furthered that the entire Information Technology (IT) System of the hospital has been sabotaged by some corrupt individuals whose chief preoccupation is to steal scare resources at the detriment of the patients at the hospital.
According to her, instead of investigating the authenticity of these transactions, the hospital management’s accusers are taking legitimate spending records and thwarting the numbers for sinister reasons.
Speaking further, the JFK boss indicated that despite existing challenges at Liberia’s only referral hospital, the John F. Kennedy Medical Center (JFKMC) remains the last best hope for the poor people who are in dire need of quality health care.
Dr. McDonald emphasized that even though the country is experiencing shortage of professional doctors and specialists, the hospital remains the only specialist center in Liberia that provides quality services such as dental, eye, psychiatrist care and other medical services.
“The JFKMC, as the only referral hospital in the country cannot say no to any patient whether poor or rich because we are the last hope for anyone who seeks medical care”, Dr. McDonald said.
With a patient intake statistics of 500 a day, the Hospital’s General Administrator said the facility is struggling to cope with the rising number especially when about 3.4 million Liberians look to JFK to provide the highest standard of care, but the hospital is unable to meet their needs without looking abroad to fill the gaps in its medical staff.
Dr. McDonald emphasized the need for adequate resource allocation to address the chronic shortage of doctors and trained medical professionals in the country including full time physicians in the fields of cardiology, orthopedic surgery, oncology, neurology, pediatric healthcare, podiatry, psychiatry and urology.
She stated: “We must put our resources where the people benefit; we need more trained doctors considering the fact that the ratio for patient-to-doctor in Liberia is too unfavorable.”
Notwithstanding the challenges, JFKMC has put into place measures that include a residency for doctors which ensure that doctors are always around to provide the needed service for the people.
Also addressing journalists, JFKMC Chief Medical Officer Dr. Billy Johnson said the hospital is right on course in the provision of quality and state of the art service to meet the demand of the citizens.
Dr. Johnson divulged that the JFKMC under the current management team has made significant strides aimed at improving desired services at the hospital.
“We are conducting and financing the training of doctors and nurses both at the Tubman National Institute of Medical Arts and recognized medical institutions around the world,” he said, noting further that "JFK doctors and nurses are currently in India for advance training to improve service to the people”.
“We already have doctors from Cuba in-country to assist in tackling some complicated medical issues affecting patients; we have concluded the training of two Liberian pathologists in Ghana to handle forensic examinations in the country and they are expected shortly”, he averred.