Monrovia – Dr. Benetta C. Andrews, the Chairperson of the Liberia Medical and Dental Council (LMDC), is calling on the government to provide a conducive environment to effectively watch over the country’s health sector.
By J.H. Webster Clayeh (0886729972)-[email protected]
LMDC is a body that is responsible for holding healthcare providers in check as enshrined by law.
The Liberia Medical and Dental Council was established by an act of the National Legislature as an autonomous agency with exclusive power and authority to regulate and monitor medical practice within Liberia. The act was approved on March 25, 2010, and printed into a handbill on April 14, 2010, with the cardinal functions of registering all health workers, licensing all health workers, and adjudicating cases of medical malpractice.
Also, the LMDC is responsible for setting standards for all health facilities and medical training institutions across the country.
Speaking at the 4th induction ceremony, the newly appointed Chairperson said that as the country continues to herald the importance of health system strengthening, the need for a robust regulatory body for medical practice in Liberia cannot be overemphasized. She called on the government to empower the LMDC to fully monitor the health sector across the country.
“Give us the tools and enabling environment to work and watch the health system change for the better without fear or favor,” the LMDC Chairperson said.
Madam Andrews added: “Remember that the patient against whom wrongful medical practice is being meted could be you, me, or any of our relatives. We need to do all we can to ensure that the gains made by our predecessors are maintained.”
Madam Andrews stressed that successful regulation of medical practice requires vibrant teamwork.
“Upon assuming the position of Chairperson of the Liberia Medical and Dental Council, I immediately reached out to the relevant stakeholders, availing myself to sort out the issues together in the interest of favorable healthcare for our people,” she said.
The LMDC Chairperson praised the Minister of Health, Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah, and her principal deputies for being receptive and agreeing to use their high offices to flag the agenda of the LMDC to the relevant authorities and partners to assist their efforts.
She added: “Assuming that we had all the components in place and functioning appropriately, this can only be verified by a robust regulatory body that will be able to obtain substantiated data as to the clear picture of the health system.”
Madam Andrews stressed that when empowered, the LMDC will ensure that the appropriate processes and practices are employed at every level of medical practice across the country.
“Our people are being medically and surgically mismanaged in the hands of quacks daily. Health system regulation, particularly in our part of the world, remains a daunting task in the face of a gross paucity of needed resources,” she said.
The LMDC Chairperson added: “As there are usually other competing priorities, there are tendencies to always streamline the needed funding to agencies such as ours. This will hinder our policing duty of medical practice, thereby leading to unscrupulous folks taking advantage of our vulnerable people in substandard health facilities.”
According to her, while the government is tasked with the huge responsibility of providing the needed resources to perform their duty, they, as health workers, also have the responsibility to provide optimal healthcare as mandated by their ethics.
“It is really alarming that there are a lot of quack health workers coupled with the offspringing of substandard health facilities, but sadly we at LMDC cannot do much to change the trajectory of what is unfolding nationwide due to serious logistical glitches to conduct periodic assessments of medical facilities nationwide,” Madam Andrews concluded.