Liberia’s Health Minister, Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah has been accused by Grand Gedeh County Senator, Zoe Emmanuel Pennue of syphoning funds intended for the Ministry of Health (MoH) to advance her private hospital located at ELWA Junction.
Sen. Pennue who also vowed to go personal with the country’s Health Minister among other things cautioned her to buttress the government’s effort to work in the interest of the country and its citizens.
He made the allegation Tuesday, February 28, 2023 during a debate on the Senate Plenary floor following a preliminary briefing report from the Senate Committee on Ways, Means Finance and Budget on the 2023 draft National Budget passed and submitted by the House of Representatives at US$777.94 million.
Minister Wilhelmina Jallah who became the country’s Health Minister in 2018, is the Chief Executive Officer and owner of the Hope For Women Medical Hospital situated at the ELWA Junction.
However, Sen. Pennue assertion was also triggered after Montserrado County Senator, Abraham Darius Dillon alarmed that the Health Ministry in the 2022 budget, got US$79 million of which Minister Jallah took US$57 million for the MoH while US$7 million went to the John F. Kennedy (JFK) Hospital which is the country only referral hospital.
In reaction to Sen. Dillon allegation, Sen. Pennue stressed that it was time for Minister Jallah to see the need to prioritize and have passion for her citizenry through her workings, and emphasized, “Because today, private health facilities including her own clinic is fully equip than public health facilities.”
According to him, Minister Jallah has miserably failed the government, the people of Grand Gedeh including the entire country since her appointment as Minister of Health, and thereby graded her performance/work 10 percent.
“I am giving this Minister 10 percent because she doesn’t know anything and more frustratingly, she has always diverted government’s money to the improvement of her facility and often refers sick a patient to her hospital for medical treatment thus ignoring the government’s owned referral health facilities.
Sen. Pennue who also vowed to go very personal with the Minister Jallah over her dismal performance as the country’s Health Minister further stressed, “I am saying this because this Minister had little or nothing since she assumed the position under this CDC government but visit her clinic today, then you know exactly what I am talking about.”
The CDC Senator added, “To be honest, despite me being a ruling party Senator, I Zoe Emmanuel Pennue of Grand Gedeh would have voted against the passage of the Health Ministry budget if Senators were voting per item under the budget line but again, that’s not the case but there is a need that we all join Sen. Dillon to ensure that the right things are done.”