Home » Health » Govt Orders Health Funds Audit

GOVERNMENT has ordered an audit of funds extended to the health sector since dollarisation in 2009. This was revealed by Health and Child Care Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa in an interview yesterday.

Dr Parirenyatwa said the audit targeted even funds channelled to hospitals under Government’s Targeted Approach that was meant to improve the country’s health care delivery system and the Health Transition Fund (HTF).

“We need to do a thorough audit of all the funds. That is why on the 29th of May I have called for a huge meeting from right down the district, our district medical officers, district nursing officers, midwives, principal directors, including those from head office and partners to look at the HTF, which is another area that has been controversial.

“I am going to look and interrogate that and subsequently we will look at the Targeted Approach where several hospitals were approached with money that came during the inclusive Government,” he said.

Dr Parirenyatwa said regulations on the handling of funds were violated during the inclusive Government leading to leakages.

“So it is not just the issue at head office but I am also looking at the issue of the HTF and I am going to look again at the targeted approach,” he said.

Dr Parirenyatwa said the May 29 meeting will deliberate on the auditing process likely to be done at various levels including setting up of committees to direct reports to his office.

He said his ministry will take appropriate measures depending on the findings.

Dr Parirenyatwa said the audit was necessitated by revelations that undeserving senior officials who included Secretary for Health and Child Care Dr Gerald Gwinji and 493 others drew about $100 000 monthly as on call allowances under a $1,5 million allocation from Treasury last year.

He said preliminary findings indicated that the allowances were approved by the Health Services Board (HSB) and the Salaries Services Bureau (SSB).

“So far what has emerged is that we need to get details from the HSB. It appears a lot of those allowances were passed through by HSB and SSB.

“So I would like to re-question that and see how that happened but essentially it was approved,” he said.

The Ministry of Health and Child Care has been on spotlight over abuse of funds of late ranging from inflating figures of equipment to flouting tender procedures.

Last month, Dr Parirenyatwa dismissed senior managers and suspended the chief executive officer at Mpilo Central Hospital after an audit unearthed a number of irregularities that included flouting of tender procedures and misappropriation of funds.

Community Working Group on Health executive director Mr Itai Rusike yesterday said there was need for transparency on issues involving public funds.

“There is no reason why information such as who is benefiting from what should be classified. That information should readily be available to anyone who needs it for transparency reasons,” he said.

He said Government should consider the appointment of non doctors in managerial positions saying not all doctors were good managers.

“The current scenario in the Ministry of Health and Childcare creates a problem in that those doctors who are in managerial positions tend to protect and support each other,” he said.

Source : The Herald

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