Welcoming Catholic Hospital’s Reopening, But…

THE CATHOLIC ARCHDIOCESE of Monrovia has confirmed and announced the official re-opening of the Catholic Hospital on Monday, November 24, 2014 in continuous service to the Liberian people and all those who need medical care. Last week at the Ministry of Information Daily Ebola News Conference, the Government of Liberia (GOL) said the St. Joseph Catholic Hospital was slated to be reopened today.
IN ITS OFFICIAL STATEMENT on the reopening of the hospital, the Catholic Archdiocese said in 1956, President William V.S. Tubman solicited from Pope Pius XII that the Catholic Church established a hospital and medical school in Liberia.  The Archdiocese said Mrs. M. Eva Hilton generously donated a 33 and a half-acre of land to the Church through Pro-Nuncio Francis Carroll for said purpose.
THE CATHOLIC HOSPITAL said it was hard hit losing some of its hard-working and committed staff. It lost the total of nine staff members including four missionaries and five staff. The church said phase one will begin with maternity services with eight of the total of its 24-bed capacity in the maternity ward while phase two will include the opening of the pediatric ward and will gradually progress to its full pre-Ebola Capacity over a period of time.
THE HOSPITAL SAID it will announce the details of its full operations, the relevant fees as well as procedures that may be required. The Church also said it appreciates the return and support of the Brothers of the St. John of God for their return to run the hospital noting that this is a display of true spiritual commitment to service in spite of their loss. The Catholic Church said it recognizes and appreciates the support and partnership of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in ensuring the re-opening of the St. Joseph’s Catholic Hospital.
INDEED, WE COMMEND and hail the Catholic Church for this bold decision to have this health facility reopened. We are not surprised over this move because the church continues to render good health services to the people of Liberia despite the many ups and downs. We specifically commend the Catholic Archdiocese of Monrovia for remaining true to its Christian principles which calls for caring for the spiritual and health needs of humanity.
HOWBEIT, WHILE WELCOMING this move by the church, it is our fervent hope that efforts would be made by other institutions and the government that were also hit by the Ebola virus, thus leading to the closure of medical facilities, to make every efforts that would lead to the reopening those health facilities to cater to the many persons in need of treatment.
ALTHOUGH AT THE height of the Ebola crisis every patient was considered an Ebola patient because there were no testing facilities; now government must begin to initiate efforts aimed at getting the health care delivery system working and begin the treatment of other curable diseases because there now exists numerous Ebola testing centers.
WITH THE MUCH support and awareness that his Ebola virus generated, for which there have been much supports to curtail its spread, as evidenced with declining number of new cases, it now behooves the authorities to act, with the help of its international partners to ensure that medical facilities that partially or completely closed down as a result of the virus, to resume normal operations.