As the 2019/2020 budget hearing continues at the National Legislature, Grand Bassa County Superintendent Janjay Baikpeh has appealed for increased budgetary allotment for the government referral hospital in Buchanan.
Supt. Baikpeh said the medical facility serves Sinoe, Rivercess, lower Bong and Margibi counties as well as the host Grand Bassa, sparking the need for increased financial support and provision of medical supplies to ensure its effective operation.
According to the Grand Bassa County Superintendent, the budgetary allotment for the hospital in the past budget stood at US$200,000, despite referral cases from the four neighboring counties that are catered to by the hospital, noting that Grand Bassa County alone accounts for more than 250,000 residents.
The allotment covers the administrative running of the hospital, which includes purchase of fuel for the generator and vehicles, as well as maintenance, feeding and stationery as top priorities.
In his appeal, the Superintendents Council Chairman outlined challenges confronting the hospital as drug shortage and lack of cash to fund the daily operations, among others.
A recent motor accident along the Buchanan-Monrovia highway that claimed the life of one person and left sixteen others critically injured is an example wherein Superintendent Baikpeh’s vehicle took the place of an ambulance to transport the victims.
The Grand Bassa County Superintendent’s pronouncement corresponds with the disclosure from the Medical Director of the Government Hospital, Dr. Abraham Jawara, that the two ambulances at the health center and his assigned vehicle are broken down.
Addressing the media at the hospital’s premises Monday, Supt. Baikpeh and Dr. Jawara disclosed that the rewiring, electrification and renovation of the hospital have been completed after it was gutted by fire twice in 2018.
The fire also damaged the hospital’s generators.
Baikpeh said his office is engaging the Grand Bassa Legislative Caucus in whose hands is the power to increase the budget, adding they have begun advocating in the interest of their citizens.
He is at the same time encouraging lawmakers of Bong, Sinoe, Rivercess and Margibi to collaborate with their Bassa colleagues in achieving the goal of health under the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD).