Still No Detailed Plan to Rebuild Healthcare Delivery System

first_imgPresident Ellen Johnson Sirleaf delivered a wide-ranging address to the nation last Wednesday, pointing to a number of plans her government envisages toward post-Ebola recovery.  She rightly included improvement in the healthcare delivery system, as well as education, agriculture and Liberian participation in business.But she spoke in generalities and presented no specific outline of what she intends in each of these areas.The Address could be described as essentially lackluster (bland), primarily because she spoke in generalities, gave us no bold prescription of how she and her government intend to jumpstart the economy, and most especially the revitalization of the healthcare delivery system.She herself and many other partners have stressed that the Ebola epidemic was allowed to wreak its  deadly havoc and do it so rapidly because of the weak healthcare system in all three countries—Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.This is what led the People’s Republic of China, through its Ambassador, Zhang Yue, to announce last October his government’s pledge “to work with other international partners to help [rebuild] and modernize Liberia’s health sector in the post-Ebola period.  Similar pledges followed from the Americans and the European Union.  This newspaper has been pleading with the government to seize this golden opportunity and devise a comprehensive and detailed plan for the revitalization of healthcare in Liberia.  But we have yet to see one.  The Ministry of Health (MOH) reacted verbally to our last  Monday Editorial on this subject, saying that indeed a plan had been devised.  But the plan is not that impressive.In her address, the President mentioned a ten-year program for the training of healthcare professionals, improving and expanding services at primary and secondary healthcare centers, upgrading county hospitals and establishing three regional hospitals. She further spoke of what she called “the repositioning of John F. Kennedy Medical Center (JFK) to meet its envisioned role as a national referral center.”There were, however, no specifics.  Which healthcare professionals does she intend  to train—are they nurses, paramedics or medical doctors—or all three?  How does she intend to do that?   Both the Tubman National Institute for Medical Arts (TNIMA) and most especially the A.M. Dogliotti College of Medicine are crying for help.  We recently reported that the College’s students’ allowances, like the salaries of faculty and staff of the university itself, are eight months in arrears.  Does the President know this?  What plans are in the offing to fix that, then move on to the larger question of reequipping and expanding the college? George Fahnbulleh, a top commentator on the Observer web site, wrote that “with a 3% net population growth rate, Liberia will have an estimated population of 6.74 million in 2030 and will need . . .  approximately 1,752 doctors to meet [the] average.”  According to him,  we need to produce 105 new doctors every year for the next 15 years?  This, it seems to us, underscores the urgency of immediately addressing the needs of the Medical College.What intervention plans has the government for the West African Post Graduate Medical College?  The college needs its own campus, with well equipped buildings and a topnotch teaching staff to train medical specialists.  Are there any plans for that?Where exactly upcountry does the President intend to place the three referral hospitals?  And which healthcare centers are targeted for improvement and expansion?  What are JFK’s own plans for revitalization? Recent statistics show that our maternal death rate is rising.  That is a sign that infant mortality is not far behind.  Yet there is only one Liberian gynecologist at the JFK—the Chief Medical Officer himself, Dr. Billy Johnson; and only one pediatrician, Dr. Sia Camonor.  Numerous other specialists are lacking at the nation’s leading referral hospital.  What are the JFK’s own plans for training specialists or reengaging Liberian medical specialists in the Diaspora?Herein lay the urgent need to build the West African Post Graduate College of Medicine.    We pray that the President and her Health Ministry team, in collaboration with the partners, especially the Chinese, Americans and EU, will as soon as possible devise the plan, so that we may begin the urgent task of rebuilding our healthcare sector and turn Liberia into one truly healthy nation.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Premier congratulates Queenslands first sixstar graduates

first_imgSource = Queensland Hotel and Hospitality School, TAFE Queensland Queensland Hotel and Hospitality Schooldiscover more here Graduates with The Star Entertainment Group CEO Matt Bekier, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, TAFE Queensland General Manager Brisbane Aaron Devine, and representatives from the Queensland Hotel & Hospitality School’s industry partners (Hilton Brisbane, Palazzo Versace, Hotel Jen Brisbane, NEXT Hotels Brisbane, the Royal International Convention Centre, Intercontinental Sanctuary Cove Resort, Sofitel Brisbane Central, and Sea World Resort & Waterpark).Premier congratulates Queensland’s first six-star graduatesPremier Annastacia Palaszczuk has congratulated Queensland’s first six-star hospitality training program graduates, as the state prepares for an international tourism boom following the approval of developments such as the $3 billion Queen’s Wharf Brisbane project.As founding partners in the Queensland Hotel and Hospitality School, TAFE Queensland and The Star Entertainment Group developed the six-star International Hospitality Service Program to meet the demand for high end skills.“These first 14 graduates have a bright future ahead as Queensland readies itself for an estimated 8000 operational jobs, in addition to 2000 construction jobs, from the $3 billion Queen’s Wharf development alone,” Ms Palaszczuk said.“They can graduate with the confidence that they are the best in the business, and that there are great jobs waiting for them.“I want every young Queenslander to experience that level of confidence as they graduate,”“That’s why I’m focused on creating jobs.”The Premier joined graduates at Treasury Casino & Hotel, along with some of Queensland’s largest hotel groups and industry partners, including: Hilton Brisbane, Palazzo Versace, Hotel Jen Brisbane, NEXT Hotels Brisbane, the Royal International Convention Centre, Intercontinental Sanctuary Cove Resort, Sofitel Brisbane Central and Sea World Resort & Waterpark.“This unprecedented collaboration between many of Queensland’s leading global brands speaks volumes about the vital role TAFE Queensland plays in delivering industry relevant training and collaboration which benefits our entire economy,” Ms Palaszczuk said.“That’s why my government has strengthened and reinvested in TAFE, because it plays such an important role in delivering the skills we need now, and in the future.”The Star Entertainment Group is part of the Destination Brisbane Consortium which will deliver Queen’s Wharf Brisbane, a $3 billion Integrated Resort Development containing five new hotels,50 new bars and restaurants, plus a variety of new retail, entertainment and public event spaces.“We are proud to work with TAFE Queensland to develop these new six-star training courses and help raise the service culture in south east Queensland,” Group CEO Matt Bekier said.“Our partnership with TAFE Queensland is about jobs for Queenslanders and taking our training to a level where we can compete with the best in the world.“We are forecasting an additional 1.39 million tourists to visit Queen’s Wharf Brisbane each year once it opens in 2022, with much of the inbound tourism coming from Asia. These are visitors who will be looking for authentic tourism experiences including local food, wine and dining,” he said.“Ensuring we have the best trained staff will enhance Queensland as a “must go” destination for international travellers.”TAFE Queensland Brisbane General Manager Aaron Devine said the first 14 students to complete the new International Hospitality Service Program were trained in delivering five and six-star food and beverage service including fine dining service, food and wine-matching, barista skills; operating a bar; providing advice on beers, spirits, liqueurs, Australian and imported wines; as well as providing silver service.“These students are the future of Queensland’s six-star tourism industry,” Mr Devine said.“They have done a magnificent job, setting high standards and thriving in both the classroom and our world class partner hotels and convention centres.”“TAFE Queensland is at the forefront of delivering talented Queenslanders to take important roles at major projects like Queen’s Wharf Brisbane.“We are working closely with industry to deliver highly skilled workforces as the trusted provider of vocational education.” Mr Devine said.More details on the Queensland Hotel and Hospitality School program is available at last_img read more