By: Kebba AF Touray
Hon. Ousman Sillah, Member for Banjul North and Chairperson of the National Assembly Select Committee on Health, said accessible, affordable and quality health service delivery are their main priorities. He made these remarks during his committee’s visit to health facilities, starting with the Bundung Hospital, on Friday.
While assuring staff of the visited sites of his committee’s support, he urged them to provide the committee with detailed documents to be able to express and advocate for them during sittings of the National Assembly, the problems facing the health sector in their respective facilities, with the objective of improving health officer’s conditions, by solving their problems.
“Facilities have similar challenges, but we will do our outmost to make sure that the Abuja Declaration is fully implemented”, said Hon. Sillah.
Hon. Saikou Marong, Member for Latrikunda, expressed thanks to the management and staff of the hospitals and urged for attitudinal change, in order to curb the daunting challenges facing the country’s health sector.
“Be patient for us to be able to recover from the damages inflicted on us as a result of the 22 years of bad governance,” he emphasized.
Hon. Sulayman Saho, member for Baddibu Central and the rapporteur of the Committee, applauded the staff of the sites visited and implored on them to keep up the spirit. He urged them to judiciously manage the resources of the facilities in the best interest of the nation. Kebba Manneh, the CEO of Bundung Hospital, cited inadequate staff, experts, nurses, government subvention, oxygen and waste management, as his facility’s constraints and urged the chairperson and his committee, to come up with measures to provide holistic remedies to these challenges.
The second facility visited was Faji Kunda Major Hospital. Mr. Ebou Corr, the officer in charge alluded to the influx of patients, poor power supply, staff and medical inadequacy and maternity unit, as major factors affecting the execution of their work and call for urgent intervention, especially by Government, to make this history.
Mr. Sheikh Omar Dibba, Subject Matter Specialist, beseeched the staff to control the internal resources of the hospital and pleaded to the committee to engage the Health Ministry and hospital boards in ensuring that they deliver as expected.
“Gambia is a developing country. So it is virtually impossible to ensure free health care services to the populace”, he said.
He suggested that medical user charges should be introduced to subsidize Government expenditure on the health sectors. The tour continues on Monday at the Central Drug Store in Kotu and the Ahmadiyaa Hospital in Tallinding.