JFK Memorial Hospital Holds 9-Year-old Patient for LD$15,000 Bill


Monrovia – Promise, a 9 year-old, is already discharged from the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital (JFK), but cannot go home because her parents cannot afford to settle the hospital bill.

Report by Bettie K. Johnson Mbayo, [email protected]

Her mother Comfort Kaiyee told FrontPageAfrica that her daughter was diagnosed with Malaria by doctors at JFK and needed blood as well.

She said prior to her visit at JFK, she went to E.LW.A Hospital, but was told that they couldn’t diagnose any illness in her daughter.

“I had to rush her to JFK because she is doing everything on herself which is strange to me,” Comfort said.

She said her daughter stayed on at the hospital hoping that her condition was going to be stabilized, but although she was discharged, she could not bring her home as she and the child’s father could not pay the hospital bill of LD$15,000 (US$120).

“I am currently not selling and her father is doing business as well. His profit cannot even reach to half of the amount and there is no way we can afford the big amount,” she said.

Comfort said what baffles her is that despite the amount being charged, she has still be asked to take her daughter to Jackson F. Doe Hospital in Tapita, Nimba County for advanced treatment.

“If we even pay that money it will sponsor the Tapita trip? I think the money is too huge, because I brought her to be well and her neck is still stiff just the same way we brought her,” she lamented.

She continued: “Atleast if they will pay half and we pay half, then we will use the balance to go to Tapita.

Comfort isn’t alone, another mother of a 12-year-old son has to go at ELWA Hospital to finish treatment.

She narrated that they have spent less than a month in the hospital and her son went through surgery on his chest.

The boy has been discharged but thee medical bill summed up to LD$33,000 (US$264) and US$31.

According to her, she has started payment with hope that the hospital was going to reduce the amount, but she has no idea of how to raise the full amount.

Joseph, 54, had also been in the hospital and discharged, but can’t go home because his bill came up to LD$61,000.00 (US$488).

According to Joseph, he’s a resident of Margibi County, but was referred to JFK after he was involved in an accident and the only survivor of the crash.

“My family used to come but since the bill was given to me they don’t return anymore. I don’t know what to do, because I’ve been here for two weeks now since I had been discharged,” he told FrontPageAfrica.

He said he is hard-pressed to find a solution, as he remains in hospital, waiting to go home. “It’s very painful for me to not to be able to go home because I do not have the money,” added lamented.

All efforts exerted by FrontPageAfrica to reach the Communications Director of the Hospital proved futile.

However, the Dr. Wyannie Mae Scott McDonald, CEO and Administrator of the JKF explained during a similar development that there are different tiers of payments for patients rushed to the hospital.

 “We have different tiers of payment. When you come in, you come in through the 20th Street gate, that’s what we call our urgent care facility and that’s now our primary care building and that is where we are using now for an emergency care situation because we are renovating the main hospital.”

The JFK Administrator then said that it is not hospital policy to turn patients away for lack of payment. “Let me use this time to say that at no time that we have emergency patients coming in and we say they got to pay before we treat them,” she said