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Mpilo Fails To Account For $4 Billion Worth Of Drugs, Other Medical Accessories - Auditor-General

1 year agoSun, 25 Sep 2022 13:08:30 GMT
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Mpilo Fails To Account For $4 Billion Worth Of Drugs, Other Medical Accessories - Auditor-General

More than $4 billion worth of drugs and other medical accessories could not be accounted for at Mpilo Central Hospital, according to Auditor-General Mrs Mildred Chiri.

Her report stated that Mpilo management failed to show an inventory of what was received versus what was disbursed for use at the region’s referral hospital. 

The 2021 report on State Owned Enterprises and Parastatals recommended that management should take action to strengthen controls around the inventory, according to Sunday News.

The AG said Mpilo Central Hospital failed to present itself in an acceptable manner in regards to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs) and the requirements of the Health Service Act.

The AG noted that the major variation was in drugs and medical supplies that were expected to be in the hospital’s inventory but the institution could not account for when the audit was carried out. She noted:

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There were discrepancies between the physical quantity of inventory (stocks) counted and the records of inventory. Quantities that were confirmed were less than what was in the records leaving a variance of inventory worth $3.4 billion which management had not investigated to determine the reasons for the discrepancies.

How did it happen:

a). The AG noted that this was mainly because of Mpilo’s failure to use vouchers to distribute stocks as and when they were requested by the departments.

b). The hospital’s stores department also did not make use of issue vouchers during the year when consumables were being requested by user departments. As a result, the stores’ department and accounts departments were not reconciling issues and receipts between these two departments. Chiri could not verify the completeness of consumables expenses amounting to $7 765 351.

Drugs Unaccounted for:

Mpilo was found in possession of a stock of 100 units of medium-sized latex gloves instead of 27 917 boxes which mean 27 817 units worth $633 678 826 worth of latex gloves couldn’t be unaccounted for.

There were 1529 units of the 25mg drug in stock instead of 4677 which means 3148 units worth $47 795 911 were missing. 

The report also noted that over $1 billion worth of nifedipine (a common drug used to treat (Hypertension) high blood pressure and heart-related chest pain) is unaccounted for. 

The hospital had a stock count of 250 of fentanyl (a chronic pain relief drug) instead of 3 400 which means 3 150 worth over $550 million were missing. 

Mpilo had stock 3 492 of Indomethacin when the report was compiled instead of 24 040 leaving a variance of 20 548 units worth over $582 million.

Why is it important:

Zimbabwe’s public health institutions have a huge deficit in drugs and medical accessories forcing some patients to seek medical assistance in neighbouring South Africa.

There are reports that some health officials are stealing drugs and medical accessories for resale on streets or in their private pharmacies leaving the common man vulnerable.

Pindula News

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