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President Koroma bouys up medical board, considers death for armed robbers

President Koroma bouys up medical board, considers death for armed robbers

Senior officials of the Medical and Dental Council, Pharmacies, Nurses and Midwives Board today paid a courtesy call on President Ernest Bai Koroma at State House to brief him on general medical practice, training of medical personnel and the code of conduct for all medical institutions.

Speaking on behalf of the Board, Sierra Leone’s only psychiatrist, Dr Edward Nahim, said the Board is responsible for the training of doctors and nurses with a view to giving them the appropriate accomplishments in practising the profession, particularly in the treatment of patients. He said that the Board also requires all doctors, outlets and clinics to be issued with licenses, but lamented that there is an explosion of fake clinics registered as NGOs with unqualified doctors and nurses whose patients most often get complications.

According to Dr Nahim, who was also accompanied by the Registrar of the Pharmacy Board Wilshire Johnson, almost 50 such clinics have so far been closed through the assistance of the Deputy Minister of Health Mohamed Koroma. ‘Many illegal nursing schools have been shut down for lack of proper documentation,’ he maintained.

Dr Edward Nahim revealed that the Board is short of logistics and finance, disclosing that monies mostly spent to arrest culprits go in vain because criminals are subsequently fined and released. ‘Our jobs are difficult without a proper deterrent court punishment, and we want to thank you for bringing more doctors and nurses into the country,’ he told the President.

Replying, President Koroma expressed thanks and appreciation for their work so far, which he said he had been monitoring with the objective of having a healthy nation. “It should be a joint responsibility, and I am impressed that you have come together for  proper medical service delivery, because a single mistake by one individual will affect many,’ the President viewed. He added that there is the need to motivate doctors and nurses, as many of them are lost to the Diaspora after training, resulting in the influx of unqualified ones. Government, he added, is concerned and the challenges must be taken for a bright tomorrow.

President Koroma intimated that government will soon set up a Medical Commission that will be separate from the Civil/Public Service Commission to ensure better health service delivery. According to the Head of State, the duties of the Commission will include giving the necessary motivation to medical personnel and soliciting the support of the law enforcement agencies, which in themselves needed a thorough look. ‘The Judiciary should take the necessary action with regards suspects, as there is the urgent need for a review of the law,’ he noted. President Koroma commended and encouraged them to continue to show professionalism in the execution of their duties, even as he pledged his unqualified support to their work.

In a no-nonsense mood, the President went further to state that the death penalty and life imprisonment must be considered for armed robbers to serve as a deterrent to crime.

According to the President, such strong measures must be taken to serve as an open example to armed robbers and other criminals: ‘If examples must be set, these measures must be taken to send out the necessary signals.’ He added that if a criminal could inflict harm on an individual with impunity, that same criminal must be prepared to receive even more. “No doubt our laws must be reviewed,” he stressed.

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