Liberia: John F. Kennedy Medical Center Wants Power to Own Drugs


Monrovia – No drugs has become something synonymous to the John F. Kennedy (JFK) Hospital according to many patients, who visit the hospital to seek medical treatment. However, this could be solved if the Public Procurement Concession Commission (PPCC) Act is amended to give the hospital authority purchasing power, according to Dr. Jerry Brown, JFK’s Chief Medical Hospital.

Report by Henry Karmo, [email protected]

Many patients, who have visited the hospital in past have complained that they have been told to buy prescribed medications from pharmacies and drugs stores because of the lack of drugs in the hospital.

According to the JFK Chief Medical Officer, there is a need to amend the Act that would allow the hospital procures its own drugs according to needs by the hospital. He said, as it stands, all drugs used by the JFK are procured by local venders.

Despite these issues, Dr. Brown believes his administration has managed to solve 60% of the challenge.

“All of our drugs are procured by local venders and they determine what we procure even though they are approved by venders but they too have some limitation as to some of the drugs we need to provide the appropriate medical care.

“The availability of drugs has been a major challenge but we have solved 60% and that has consumed much of our operational funds because we have diverted money intended for infrastructure work to drugs to ensure that drugs are available all of the time and that has stalled some of our planned projects. We cannot continue to renovate the structure and don’t have drugs for patients,” Dr. Brown said. 

Speaking Tuesday when he received a consignment of medical equipment as a donation from Montserrrado County Senator Saah Joseph, he said the JFK has developed strategy that would address the challenge of payment of medical bills by patients.

Dr. Brown disclosed that since the renovation of the emergency room and outpatient service at the hospital, the number of patients has tripled and the hospital now receives three times the number of patients they received a year before.

Making the donation of the medical equipment, Senator Joseph said his previous visit to the hospital led him to make the donation of the medical equipment that would buttress the effort of the doctors and administrators.

The Montserrado County Senator also announced that he has received the application of several doctors from the United States wanting to travel to Liberia to assist in providing free medical services. He also promised to continually work with the JFK in order for it to provide adequate medical care.