Commissioner Suspends Vendor At Calabar General Hospital Over Financial Impropriety, Lack Of Quality Assurance 

Aug 29, 2023 - 03:27
Aug 29, 2023 - 03:29
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Commissioner Suspends Vendor At Calabar General Hospital Over Financial Impropriety, Lack Of Quality Assurance 

... Seeks Effective Public Finance Mgt. Mechanism In Gov't Facilities

By Ogbu KOSY 

Cross River State Commissioner for Health, Dr Henry Egbe Ayuk has suspended the operations of a vendor running the pharmacy unit of the General Hospital, Calabar, over alleged "financial impropriety and lack of quality assurance" in service delivery.

The Commissioner gave the directive, Monday, during an unscheduled visit to the General Hospital, Calabar, to ascertain the level of operation after the Cross River chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) suspended its 40-day old strike in the State.

Irked by the degree of anomalies bedeviling the hospital, Dr. Ayuk confirmed the absence of remittances to government by the pharmacy operator for the past 15 months, and dearth of qualified personnel, describing the unit under the vendor as a "quack shop" ladened with sharp practices.

In his words: "The people managing the pharmacy are not qualified. They do not have any background in pharmacy; so we do not know why they are there. As far as I am concerned, that place is a quack shop because it does not have the required personnel. How do you ensure quality assurance when you do not have even pharmacy technicians, which is a minimum requirement for such services?

"Accordingly, I have asked the vendor to see me; let us review the memorandum of understanding they entered with government in order to truly ascertain what government expects of them. While that is to be looked into, I have asked that their services be suspended. Government officials (the Medical Superintendent, accountants of the hospital and Ministry of Health, hospital pharmacists, etc) have been directed to take charge, have a record of the stock balance, and ensure accountability in their operations until more effective arrangements are put in place."

The Health Commissioner also appealed to those in charge of the laboratories to block revenue leakages through accountability. We have also been told that a certain body is collecting about 15 percent of revenue generated in the hospital and distributing it to the appropriate quarters.

"We have also asked that they come to the office for their agreement to be looked into, too. We want to see exactly what value they are bringing to the hospital that guarantees the 15 percent they receive.

"So all those things will be reviewed them and come out with a more effective plan. Our emphasis is that the health sector must render services that are reminiscent of the Governor Bassey Otu-led administration's 'People First' agenda.

"We want Cross Rivererians to be conscious of the fact that there is a government that gives premium attention to their health and wellbeing. So we must fight against leakages that impede the present administration's desire to bring healthcare services to the ordinary man in the society," Dr. Ayuk remarked.

The Health Commissioner also used the opportunity to thank Cross River NMA for thoughtfully returning doctors services to hospitals after a 40-day hiatus. He called on members of the public seeking medical attention to visit government health facilities across the State for their health needs.

The Commissioner and his team were conducted round the hospital by the Medical Superintendent, Dr. Prashant Kumar, among other staff of the facility.