LARKANA: The AG Sindh through a circular signed by Khadim Hussain Mirani, Deputy Accountant General (DAG), informed all DAOs in Sindh that he had a meeting recently with the Sindh chief secretary and apprised him of his concerns regarding practice of health department for procurement of medicines and other items on the basis of rates obtained through previous year 2013-14.
AGs view was also endorsed by SPPRA. AG told the chief secretary that his office had reminded time and again to health department for the implementation of SPPRA rules and suggested that SPPRA may be consulted and matter may be resolved at the earliest to avoid any situation of emergency and ensure smooth provision of medicines to hospitals and health institutions.
It was also clarified to the chief secretary that after having meeting with additional secretary health in August and keeping in view the commitment made by the health department for early finalization of tendering process and the fact that non-provision of essential drugs and medicines may result fatal for the patient and create awkward situation for the government. This office passed the bills against 15% of the annual budget from 1st quarter of 2014-15 of all institutions/hospitals on the approved rates of last FY.
This letter further added that health department has neither finalized the tenders for procurement nor the observations raised by SPPRA were resolved which may result into any unfortunate incident because of non-provision of drugs & allied items. The letter claimed that CS agreed with the view point of the AG and has instructed not to entertain any further claims. The CS has also issued instructions to health department for early finalization of tendering process hence all DAOs are hereby directed to strictly follow accordingly.”
Due to above reason, bills submitted to the District Accounts Officer, Larkana, by the Chandka Medical College Hospital have not yet been cleared causing serious hardships for CMCH administration as the suppliers are pressing them very hard for payment.
The health department has allowed procurement out of two installments of annual budget for 2014-15 to the tune of 15% of the quarterly allocation of medicines and allied items and the rest of 85% will be procured through Central Procurement Committee formed by the Health Department with the approval of Sindh Chief Minister during the current fiscal year. This 15% was to be utilized on the basis of rates obtained through previous year tender i-e 2013-14.
Accordingly the supply orders were placed by CMCH and the deliveries have been made but the bills are not being cleared by DAO saying that he has been ordered by the Accountant General Sindh not to clear the bills which are against SPPRA rules though such bills have been cleared in all other districts of the province.
CMCH authorities view is that DAO Larkana did not even pass the bills of first quarter’s 15% allocation, hence he is openly violating tAG’s directives which has resulted acute shortage of drugs in the hospital and poor patients are purchasing 60% of the medicines from their pocket.
The government must resolve this issue without loss of further time as seven months have already passed when the budget was approved but there seems no respite for the poverty-ridden people of the province and those involved in the delay must be taken to task because they have overburdened the poor masses.
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