By Bill W. Cooper
Authorities from both the Ministry of Health (MoH) have pleaded with the House’s Budget Committee for budgetary increment of US$39.8 million in the 2022 Draft National Budget.
The MoH represented by its Minister, Comptroller General and others stressed that the additional US$39.8 million when added to the Ministry’s previous US$66.1 million, totaling US$105.1 m will help address the many pertinent issues the health sector of the country is faced with.
Appearing on Monday, December 6, on day two of the expenditure component of the public hearing of the 2022 Budget, Health Minister Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah among other things also emphasized that the request will also help upgrade the health system from where it is to a more resilient healthcare system.
According to Dr. Jallah, some of the issues to be tackled with the US$39.8 m include the purchase of essential drugs and medical supplies; upgrading of the John F. Kennedy, Phebe, and the Redemption Hospitals as well as other health centers in Lofa, River Gee, Grand Gedeh and Maryland to become comprehensive health centers.
Others are the upgrading and the construction of five new oxygen plants at Star Base, Tapppita and the Government Hospitals in Grand Bassa, Maryland and Gbapolu Counties; the reclassification of salaries and allowances of all health cadres, pensioned employees, replacement, hazard payment, and staffing (employments) of the Gbapolu and Rivercess Hospitals, among others.
She added, “over the last year, the MoH has worked diligently with partners (World Bank and WHO) to establish a dialysis center; according to the WHO data published in 2018, Kidney disease deaths in Liberia reached 453 or 1.35 percent of total deaths.
“The age-adjusted death rate was 23.39 per 100,000 of the population, ranking Liberia at 54 globally, and thanks to the World Bank, we have a fully furnished ten-bed dialysis in the JFK compound; and with the above amount, it will be used for goods and services.”
“So, Honorable Committee we are kindly pleading for an increment of US$39,800,400.61 to our current budget, this which we believe will be able to take care of the following very critical activities for the current coming budget period from January to December of 2022,” Minister Jallah stated.
Meanwhile, the Director General of the Liberia Institute for Statistics and Geo-information Services (LISGIS), Francis F. Wreh also used the hearing to appeal to the House’s Budget Committee for an increment of US$12M of his institution’s budget in the 2022 Draft National Budget.
Mr. Wreh and team, appearing on Monday, December 6, on day two of the expenditure component of the public hearing of the 2022 Budge begged that the US$12.5 million increment when added on their existing US$2.7 million allotments will enable the LISGIS to conduct a successful National Population and Housing Census in March of 2022.
He intoned that the US$12.5 million will be used to do routine data collections (census) across the country on national accounts, price, trade, agriculture, and environment, stressing that US$525,000 is for a three-year lease for new offices – LISGIS HOUSE.
Mr. Wreh added, “Given the immense challenges coupled with the task of LISGIS as a prime authoritative agency of government responsible for collecting, managing, supervising, disseminating and setting standards for statistical geo-information for the nation’s socio-economic development LISGIS needs the support of all in the budget process in the form of increment to enable us effectively discharge our duties as provided for in the act that established the institution.”
However, following both MoH and LISGIS appeal, the House’s Budget Committee then voted for the MoH and LISGIS to reappear before its committee to come with all relevant documents relating to their respective increments among others this Thursday.
MoH, LISGIS Crave For
By Bill W. Cooper