Committee builds Vt6 million VCH Outpatients Extension
Vila Central Hospital Superintendent Dr Willie Tokon and his dedicated Outpatient Extension Committee have proved their critics in Government wrong by successfully funding the new Vt6 million Extension entirely with patient contribution fees.
Acting Director Southern Health Care Group, Morris Amos opened the new Extension on behalf of the Minister of Health before yesterday.
Dr Tokon had a big smile on his face when he recalled that he took up his post at VCH in October of 2005 and called all Department Heads together to initiate the Outpatient’s Fund in June 29 of 2006. “It is a very significant achievement for the Committee because it has not been easy for all to agree to such a project especially when all committee members did not get paid, the entire project planning was carried out by the committee on a voluntary basis except that we had to hire a contractor for the job”, Dr Tokon said. While past Ministers of Health and Director Generals of Health had gone as far accusing VCH Management of breaking the law by operating such a Fund and not depositing it with all Government collected revenues, Dr Tokon’s Management Team did not give in because it was confident in its vision and what it wanted to use the money it collected on.
At the end even the present Prime Minister was reported to have supported the idea behind the Fund.
Dr Tokon who is also the Chairman of the Fund said, the committee has a transparent system in place to count, deposit and withdraw money from the Fund. Invoices and receipts are issued at all times.
What is more, in VCH’s constant shortage of money, Dr Tokon confirmed, “We also turned to the Fund for urgent expenses such as food, gas and other vital services when we run out of money in our official budget”.
The Acting Director Southern Health Care thanked all the staff of the Committee for “working without pay” to make sure that the Extension was completed. “At the end of the day, there is never enough money to go around so this is to confirm that you can go ahead with your current procedure (of collecting patient contribution fee)”, he said.
Dr Tokon said now that the new Outpatients Extension is completed, the next project in the pipeline is the Anti Natal Department. “There is no space left and when it rains, we have a big challenge on our hands and it is our next project”, he said.