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MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Audit (COA) found that medical equipment worth P39.27 million were unutilized in various hospitals in Ilocos Norte.
In a 2022 audit report released on Thursday, April 27, state auditors said the equipment were discovered during an inspection last November.
At least 11 unutilized equipment were found at the Governor Roque B. Ablan Sr. Memorial Hospital, including three infant ventilators worth P21.255 million, a bacterial identification and susceptibility machine costing P5.4 million, a P2.15-million microscope, an operating table, a blood test self-analyzer, and four Department of Health-donated dialysis machines valued at P6.58 million.
Meanwhile, two were discovered at the Bangui District Hospital, including a cardiac monitor with defibrillator worth P1.54 million and a defibrillator monitor costing P996,000.
COA reminded the Ilocos Norte provincial government that ensuring resources are utilized and protected against wastage is required under the Government Auditing Code of the Philippines.
State auditors also pointed out that residents have been deprived of the benefits of the medical equipment.
“Additionally, the longer these expensive medical equipment [are] left idle, the greater the risk of obsolescence and future breakdown due to deterioration,” COA said.
In its reply, the Ilocos Norte provincial government said the equipment arrived earlier than expected and personnel supposed to be assigned to operate them have yet to be trained.
COA, however, said procurement contracts must specify that training should be provided by suppliers, and that the construction of facilities should be streamlined and finished immediately.
State auditors recommended that Ilocos Norte assess whether it is better to donate or transfer the unused medical equipment to other government hospitals, especially if personnel are already available in those hospitals. – Rappler.com