Residents in and around the city of Ganta, in Nimba County, have accused the Ganta United Methodist Hospital (GUMH) for hiking fees and rejecting critical patients. Although the hospital is privately run by the Methodist Church, the citizens said they expect its administration to reduce fees because the Hospital receives subsidy from government.
One of such concerned citizens who recently spoke on the situation is Elder Edward Dolo of Ganta. Elder Dolo has seriously called on the Liberian government to construct a public health center in Ganta, like the one in Tappita, to remedy the situation.
Elder Edward Dolo also alleged that, despite being provided yearly subsidy by the government of Liberia, the Ganta United Methodist Hospital presently has no emergency service and as such people on critical list are compelled to register before receiving treatment. He said patients are forced to pay before they are admitted and “if they are out of cash, they are rejected, sometimes resulting to death.”
According to our correspondent in Nimba County, Elder Dolo’s allegation was contained in a remark he made at the Concerned Women Center in Ganta during an acquaintance visit to Nimba by Lands, Mines and Energy Minister Patrick Sendlolo.
He earlier appealed to Minister Sendolo to prevail on central government for more infrastructural developments for Ganta.
“If you are out of money you cannot be treated. What they do with the money government give them every year? What happen to emergency?” Elder Dolo inquired.
When contacted, the administrator of the Hospital, Mr. Victor Doolakeh Taryor, denied the claim by Elder Dolo that the hospital rejects critical patients, terming it as ‘ungratefulness on his part.’ Mr. Taryor told the In Profile Daily that the hospital has an emergency service, ambulance; and critical patients are catered to. “Anybody brought under critical condition can be catered to,” he stated.
He, however, admitted that there has been slight increment in fees at the hospital due to the increase in prices of medicines and services, adding, “In the world today nothing is stagnant.” Mr. Taryor further said that fees for surgical cases like bilateral hornea have been increased. He said registration for patients have also been increased.
At the same time, Mr. Taryor admitted that Ganta Hospital receives one hundred and eighty thousand United States dollars (U$S180, 000.00) from the Liberian government annually as subsidy. However, he said while this amount is appreciated, it is small for the kind of services the hospital offers, especially to save life.
“The amount is little as compared to subsidies offered to other institutions around the country by government and this should be increased as the management of the hospital is appealing to government for an increment of up to a million dollars,” Mr. Taryor indicated.
Meanwhile, Mr. Taryor revealed that the hospital was equally carrying on other free medical services under the Nenwah or Child Survival Programs, supported by an American NGO called Cure America.
He said the program is being carried on in one hundred (100) villages in Nimba County, with about fifteen thousand (14,000) as beneficiaries.
The Ganta United Methodist Hospital was established in 1926 by an American, Dr. George Way Harley.