By Robert Tapfumaneyi
ZIMBABWEAN hospitals are operating without enough ambulances to ferry patients as over half of its 282 strong fleet was down.
This was revealed in a 2018 report of the situation by Auditor General (AG) Mildred Chisi.
“As at December 31, 2018 the ministry (of Health) had 282 ambulances and out of 282 ambulances, 134 (48%) were functional whilst 148 (52% were non-runners,” reads the report in part.
The report also exposed wanton inertia by some officials running the country’s public hospitals whose managers paid for goods and services but were often reluctant to follow up.
“Mutare Provincial Hospital purchased two syringes infusion pumps from a supplier as at a cost of $3 700 on November 15, 2017 and as at the time of concluding the audit (October 5 2018), the pumps had not been delivered,” the AG’s noted.
“There was no evidence to show the hospital’s efforts in following up on the matter except for an e-mail dated October 4, 2018 showing communication between the Hospital and the supplier in which the supplier acknowledged receipt of the funds.”
The AG further noted, “Rusape General Hospital did not maintain a prepayments register for the purpose of maintaining records for medical supplies.
“The Hospital did not reconcile medical supplies delivered with those that were paid for.
“The Hospital received fewer quantities of medical supplies than the quantities actually paid for and there was no evidence to show that the Hospital was following up.”
The 2018 AG’s report by the AG revealed that five health institutions namely Rusape General, Chegutu District, Chinhoyi District, Gweru Provincial and Zvishavane District hospitals incurred expenditure amounting to $69 635 that was not adequately supported by source documents such as three competitive quotations, procurement committee minutes and comparative schedules.