COA: P115M in neglected PGH equipment now junk
MANILA, Philippines – Because the management of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) failed to set allocate funds for the maintenance and repair, medical equipment worth P115.72 million, and purchased in 2011 and 2012, are now nothing by junk.
In a report released on February 12, the Commission on Audit (COA) said the state-run hospital cannot be blamed for instances where the equipment became too old and spare parts were no longer available. However, it was still responsible for not approving the billing when suppliers were willing to conduct maintenance and repair work on the equipment.
"Simple repairs of the much-needed equipment become improbable and the equipment makes their way to the stockroom for indefinite storage and because of lack of attention and exposure to elements, were declared for condemnation. Based on the report submitted, the total cost of the equipment amounted to P115,723,496.19," COA said.
COA also questioned how PGH selected suppliers which could not competently provide maintenance services or made themselves scarce after the delivery of expensive apparatus. "The problem of management...boils down to defective procurement procedures that allow non-competent suppliers to participate and win over stable competitors," the auditors said.
COA listed at least 10 purchases by the government hospital that suppliers suddenly abandoned:
- Vivid 4 ultrasound equipment system - P7.395 million
- Vivid 1 ultrasound equipment system - P4 million
- Mortara stress test system - P1.38 million
- Phillips cardiac monitor - P430,000
- BP monitor - P390,000
- 45 units of ECG/SP 02/NIBP monitors - P17.54 million
- 13 units of cardiac monitors - P5.07 million
- 2 cardiac monitors/invasive pressure - P927,532
- Five-viewer microscope - P448,800
- Heraguard fumehead - P325,000
COA said the University of the Philippines-Manila and PGH management should have an "equipment management plan" that centralizes control over the maintenance and repair of hospital equipment, and facilitate the procurement of parts and services.
Auditors also recommended that PGH trains personnel to do simple repair works on its own equipment, while it makes suppliers agree to handle more complicated malfunctions.
COA noted that the almost P116 million worth of equipment were neglected when PGH was actually enjoying considerable savings. It declared P472.96 million of income from hospital fees in 2011, and P509.098 million in 2012.
The hospital also had time deposit of P1.263 billion as of Dec 31, 2012, and long-term investments of P1.22 million.
"It is not rewarding and rational that there are vast savings when the programs of the hospital as healthcare providers...are sacrificed because facilities ...are not attended to, like medical equipment not acquired and/or out of service," COA said. – Rappler.com