Thursday, April 10, 2014

Health Ministry to correct shortcomings highlighted in A-G’s report

 PETALING JAYA, April 9 — In a swift response to weaknesses listed out in the 2013 Auditor-General’s Report, the Health Ministry has vowed to take appropriate action to serve the people better. “The ministry takes seriously officers who make incorrect decisions. They will be investigated,” said secretary-general Datuk Farida Mohd Ali in a press statement. “Efforts will be made to ensure better decisions are made in the future.” With regards to the biomedical engineering maintenance services (BEMS), she said while limited allocation made it difficult for the ministry to replace equipment that was beyond their age, the ministry always had comprehensive plans for replacement by stages. “Medical equipment that exceeded their time period and 7not safe for use will be destroyed,” she said. It had been reported some equipment exceeded their “prescribed economic age” by between one and 23 years. On additional agreements signed late by between 123 and 2,286 days, she said it was because the asset registration process was finalised after the ministry obtained documentation for fees to be paid. She said as to better this, the project implementer was required to submit a list of assets and systems and detailed costing to hasten the process. “Besides this, registration of new assets will be done three months before the project handover date and it is included in the contract,” she said. On the overpayment and underpayment of fees, it has been agreed that streamlining of payment for additional or lessening of assets is done every January and July as it was found to be more profitable for government and practical as it involved more hospitals and assets. 

Regarding the loss of 482 assets at Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah and Hospital Tuanku Fauziah, police reports have been made for 218 assets, 37 were recovered, 218 destroyed, three moved to clinics and six were in the process of being destroyed. Among matters mentioned in a press statement, the ministry said it would investigate the Hospital Sultan Abdul Halim officer who received a shipment of raw chicken, delivered at 31 degrees Celcius and the supplier. The ministry, it said, had ensured steps like the delay of thawing at the supplier’s end, vehicles were equipped with refrigeration by suppliers and specific delivery times for unloading to ensure the meat was at the specified temperature of not more than five degree Celcius. On the issue of the supply contracts for wet food, done via open tender, it said it would evaluate and only choose suitable candidates who had documentation and followed value for money and economy of scale principles. With regards to the Klinik 1Malaysia understaffing which led to a payout of RM1.39 million for overtime in four states for three years, it said there were 158 vacancies filled by existing staff from nearby clinics and was found to have saved the ministry payment by 60 per cent compared to paying for emolument of permanent staff. This practice, it said, would continue until the vacancies were filled but would not be for the long-term as it could affect staff performance. On the allocation of food baskets meant for undernourished children, it said it would strengthen its monitoring processes and an internal investigation was being carried out.

No comments: