Serving as guest on a local radio talk show in Monrovia on Thursday, Dr. V. Kanda Golakai named inadequate funding as well as the refusal of many doctors produced by the college to contribute to the welfare of the institution as factors that have brought the college to the brink of fragility.
Dr. Golakai indicated that most of the doctors who have been trained by the college for the past 47 years have opted to leave the country for better living conditions and incentives while those in the country have opted to abandon the institution.
He said this has left the college with a gap of locally trained, experienced and competent doctors to support the program.
He noted that the situation has made the management to heavily rely on temporary contractual arrangements to enable it augment the faculty strength at the institution, which, according to him, requires funding from external partners to pay those hired.
The medical school Dean said the situation has also led to the drop in the number of instructors at the institution from 57 to 27 over the past three years.
Dr. Golakai said as it stands, the college needs to produce an average of 100 doctors every year over a five-year period in order to close the huge doctor-patient deficiency gap the country and to provide satisfactory healthcare across the country.
“In Liberia one doctor is assigned to about 30,000 patients,” he noted.
“Last year and the year before, we graduated 35 and 38 respectively, and we will be graduating 48 doctors this year, which is far below our target. I believe we can graduate more than these numbers once the needed financial and logistical support is provided,” the Dean emphasized.
He called on the government to ensure that there are adequate doctors in the country by providing the necessary financial support to the medical college and investing heavily in health education.
Dr. Golakai observed that the money placed in the budget for the University of Liberia is inadequate to run the University and the Medical College.