Home Health Corruption Awash Health Ministry … Donors’ Funds Go In Breeze, But…

Corruption Awash Health Ministry … Donors’ Funds Go In Breeze, But…

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By: Frank P. Martin

MONROVIA: The newly appointed Minister of Health, Dr. Louise M. Kpoto, has alleged several financial malpractices at the Ministry of Health.

Dr. Kpoto disclosed that several former officials of the Ministry of Health are alleged to be connected to misapplications and misappropriations of funds provided to the Ministry by both the Government of Liberia (GOL), and the country’s donor partners.

Dr. Kpoto and former Health Minister, Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah, exchanged turnover notes at the Ministry of Health’s edifice in Congo Town, Wednesday, February 14, 2024.

Speaking before an array of local and international partners as well as staffers of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Kpoto acknowledged perennial acts of corruption at the Health Ministry including misappropriations of funds intended for the Nation’s Healthcare delivery sector.

The new Health Minister, who is a former University student leader vowed to pursue, through the due process of law, all those who may be connected to such acts of corruption including misappropriations and misapplications of health funds.

Such measures, Dr. Kpoto said, would go a long way in restoring much-needed public trust and confidence in the operations of the Ministry of Health.

“I also heard about some misappropriations of government and partners’ funds. This issue is one of my topmost priorities for sanctity to be restored to the health sector of our country. Please be assured that this issue will be prioritized,” Dr. Kpoto told the huge gathering of healthcare officials and Representative of donor countries and institutions as well as local healthcare workers who graced the occasion.

She also vowed to arrest all acts of unbridled corruption in the Ministry of Health and from the country’s healthcare system.

She assured transformational change that aligns with President Joseph Nyuma Boakai’s flagship national development agenda, styled: “ARREST” which includes Agriculture, Road, Rule of Law, Education, Sanitation, and Tourism.

“I want to assure all health workers in this country that with our commitment to foster a transparent health sector and zero tolerance for corruption, there will be a transformative change in the Liberian healthcare sector,” she stressed.

With focus on key priority areas and a commitment to collaborate with both local and international partners and donors, Dr. Kpoto unveiled a National Health Insurance Plan, aimed at alleviating suffering of healthcare workers across the country.

She promised to work with partners and members of the Legislature for actualization of this plan, which also holds transformative impacts and tangible benefits for the people of Liberia.

“I want to inform the partners, health workers and everyone in the health sector that we have started the ball rolling by working with relevant stakeholders to introduce National Health Insurance Plan of Liberia, which will not only alleviate suffering but will provide affordable and equitable healthcare delivery system,” the new Health Minister assured.

Dr. Kpoto, at the occasion, decried the enormous challenges confronting Liberia’s Healthcare System.

She strongly believes that with collective support, her leadership at the Health Ministry will address pertinent issues affecting the smooth, quality and accessible healthcare delivery to Liberians.

“I am aware of the challenges facing the health sector, especially the Ministry of Health. One of my priorities will be to create a vibrant working environment that will encourage productivity at all levels,” she noted.

Dr. Kpoto urged health workers at the Ministry of Health to consider slide changes that would make the sector vibrant instead of seeing such changes as witch-hunt.

She emphasized that such changes are “meant to make the sector vibrant and better for all of us.”

She assured partners to offer transparent and accountable leadership as Minister of Health of the Republic of Liberia.

“To our partners, we promise to offer a transparent leadership that is accountable and accessible to the people,” Dr. Kpoto averred.

Minister Kpoto’s predecessor, Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah, earlier turned over documents including funding allocated for the fight against the Corona Virus Disease in Liberia.

Former Health Minister Jallah did not name any recent financial audits carried out in the Ministry of Health by external or internal auditors but reported that the Ministry completed an audit for the COVID-19 funds.

“We have completed audit for the COVID-19 funds and all the reports therein are on your desk. Upon taking over, you can ask Fidel and others who are signatory to the account to give you access,” Dr. Jallah told her successor while turning over.

She named constructions of 5 hospitals, installation of major oxygen plants in Montserrado and Bomi counties, creation of an Infectious disease Unit in Maryland County, etc. as many gains made over the years under her watch as Minister of Health.

In separate remarks, both local and international partners lauded Dr. Jallah for her contribution to the nation’s health sector and promised to work with the new Health Minister, Dr. Louis Kpoto.

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