New Delhi: A report by the central auditors has sharply criticised the Delhi health department, saying there is need for a comprehensive procurement policy for medical equipment.
The report — for the year 2014-15 tabled in the Delhi assembly on Monday — highlights anomalies such as paying millions of rupees as consultation fees to a private agency even when it failed the task, of “condemned” medical equipment and parts worth over Rs 22.32 crore and ‘un-adjusted’ advance of Rs 73.62 crore given to suppliers.
“There was delays ranging up to 2 years in procurement and delivery of medical equipment though this activity was outsourced to an agency with the specific objective of eliminating such delays. An amount of Rs 60.65 lakh was paid to the agency as consultation fee,” said the report by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India for Department of Health and Family Welfare.
“Some 2,930 items of equipment worth Rs 24.32 crore and 883 equipment where cost was not available, were declared as condemned during 2010-15 by various departments of the selected hospitals of the selected hospitals, but had not been disposed of,” the report added.
Prolonged delay in disposal of condemned equipment results in further deterioration in their condition and realizable value, it said.
The report also said the 11 major hospitals of Delhi government could not fully utilise the allocated funds.
These hospitals catering to health needs of nearly 1.68 crore people held various factors such as delay in tender evaluation, bill submission and finalisation responsible for underutilized funds.
“Hospitals procured items and consumables of Rs 3.16 crore in excess of their actual requirement,” the report said.
“Sixty-six (pieces of) equipment valuing Rs 18.22 crore received during 2009-10 to 20014-15 were installed after delays ranging from one month to two years,” it read.
The report also highlighted misuse of funds, such as spending Rs 94.78 lakh on repair of equipment under warranty.
“The hospitals neither invoked warranty not initiated action against the firms,” the report said.
The audit also observed that none of the selected hospitals had any Bio-Medical Engineers Technicians for ensuring proper maintenance and up-keep of medical equipment.
It was also found that hospitals did not upload and update information on the management information system for tracking demand and supply of the medical equipment.
The CAG has recommended preparation of a plan and policy for the need based and timely procurement and maintenance of medical equipment.