By Alagie Manneh
The Gambia must restructure its “bloated” healthcare system and purge its many so-called directors “scattered in buildings” if the country is serious about attaining quality healthcare, according to Dr Ramou Njie.
The Gambian-born, UK-trained gastroenterologist and hepatologist, who was speaking in a wide-ranging interview with The Standard on Covid-19, elucidated: “We have a Ministry of Health and this is known by everybody and so many external consultants have said the same. We have a Ministry of Health that has I don’t know nine, or 16 directors. And this is for a small country with two million people. Compare that with Uganda, which has 40 million people, they only have three directors.
“So, we have a bloated ministry, with a lot of duplication, and a lot of resources that are used up in administrative processes that can actually be diverted to frontline healthcare. So, by restructuring I mean, streamlining the ministry so that the resources are actually channeled to where they are most needed. And, not having these many directorates which are scattered in different buildings. I know it’s a difficult task, but if we don’t do that, it will be very difficult to get the results that we want [in health].”