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Sep 4, 2018

Audit done on procurement of Equipment purchased by the Ministry of Health

Audits are taking place both at NICH and now at the office of the Music Ambassador.  The results are expected to be released on completion. But News Five has obtained a copy of an audit from the office of the Auditor General. It covers the Procurement of Equipment purchased by the Ministry of Health for the period 2016-2017. A copy of the document was sent to the office of the Prime Minister in June and was laid on the table at last Friday’s House sitting, but cannot be debated in the House until it has gone to committee.  A quick review of the document shows a general breakdown in the procurement process at M.O.H. where contracts were issued without due diligence, at times replicating purchase of existing equipment, and a lack of a proper inventory control.  In some instances, medical equipment on inventory was not on hand. We’ll have more on this in the coming days but the audit found that four hundred and sixty-two pieces of equipment in the seven medical facilities inspected were either missing, not accounted for, maintained, functional or in use. These include seven anaesthesia units, five ventilators, patient monitors, and high-end equipment such as dental units, defibrillators, haematology analyzer and heart monitors. The audit also found that there was no evidence of tenders invited; adherence to Financial Orders was not followed by the procurement committee for the six contracts issued in the year in review. One of the findings is that as much as fifty percent of the equipment in the Corozal and Orange hospitals cannot be located.  The value of the missing items can be as much as two million dollars, in six hospitals and one polyclinic in a one-year period.

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