One Doctor to 19,000 Patients: Liberia Reveals Staggering Doctor-To-Patient Ratio

16 July 2015, 6:50 pm Written by 
Published in Latest News
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LCPSSecretary General Dr. Stephen Kennedy at the MICAT Press Regular Press Briefing LCPSSecretary General Dr. Stephen Kennedy at the MICAT Press Regular Press Briefing Photo Credit: Togba V. Sumo

The Liberia College of Physicians and Surgeons (LCPS) has revealed that Liberia has a total of 261 Liberian and non-Liberian doctors who are registered, with a doctor-to-patient ratio of one doctor to every 19,000 patients.

Speaking Thursday at the Ministry of Information regular press briefing, Dr. Stephen Kennedy, the Secretary General of LCPS, said with the statistics and population of the country, it means one doctor to 19,000 Liberians.

The staggering ratio was, according to him, is the worst on the World Health Organization-accepted standards for countries around the world. The WHO standard is one doctor to every 600 patients

He also disclosed that there are 208 Liberian registered medical doctors and 53 foreign doctors to make a total of 261 doctors in the country.

“This has a major implication for the country’s future and the future of your children and next generations to come. We must fight for sustainable and enhanced health services for the citizens as a priority.

“We only have two pediatricians in the country for one million children, meaning 500,000 to one. The only internist died due to the Ebola virus in the country. Liberia only has six gynecologists for the past decades,” Dr. Kennedy said.

“There are only six surgeons in Liberia and three of them have been training others actively.

“We only have one Liberian orthopedist and one Urologist who has reached retirement.”

He said the situation was worrisome and needed urgent attention.

However, he said authorities had already begun working in that direction by establishing the first postgraduate medical training program in the country that led to the establishment of LCPS in 2013.

“The program is intended to produce sustainable program that will help to produce high quality health system and strengthen the healthcare delivery system.”

Liberia is ranked 186 in the world according to the World Health Organization (WHO) in terms of healthcare delivery system.

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