A major general hospital in Kuala Lumpur has wasted medicinal drugs worth RM308,373.
Hospital Canselor Tuanku Muhriz (HCTM) in Bandar Tun Razak has been keeping expired drugs dating back to the year 2010 till 2014.
This vital piece of information was revealed in the 2015 Auditor-General Report, Series 2.
The authorities discovered medicine that expired between the year 2010 and 2014 in the unlocked main store of HCTM's Pharmaceutical Department during an audit visit in November 2015.
The AG report that was released last Monday, 21 November, noted that HCTM, also known as Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (HUKM), has failed to do timely procurement planning which has resulted in the massive wastage of medicine supply.
"In our opinion, HCTM failed to conduct proper procurement planning resulting in medication to expire, thus can no longer be used for patients," read the AG report, as reported by Malaysiakini.
It was reported that hospitals are required to update the status of the drug supply six months before they are due to expire and must be discarded once they've expired
In the following audit visit in December 2015, the auditors discovered that the hospital has mistakenly stocked up a large amount of expired intravenous (IV) drips due to some delivery error.
"HCTM had informed that the IV drips, which belonged to the supplier, were meant to exchange with (other) drug supplies as (they were) mistakenly sent when order had been made," said the report.
Defending the matter, HCTM stressed that their annual drug disposal rate still falls between 0.07% and 0.3% which is still within the legal rate of 0.5%.
Making matters worse, the government hospital also spent a total of RM507,600 on stoves, chillers and freezers that were not fully used to cater to the patients
Breaking down the total amount, it was reported that HCTM spent RM12,600 on three unit of stoves and another RM495,000 for two units of chillers and freezers which were supposed to be used to prepare food for the patients. These equipment were part of the RM2.65 million renovation for the hospital's main kitchen.
It was also mentioned that a fire had broke out in the main kitchen in June 2014 that was said to have originated from the stove, which are no longer in use since the fire.
According to Malaysiakini, the audit also found more disturbing things about how the hospital spent its budget, including:
a) HCTM has split 512 local orders worth RM1.17 million into smaller amounts to avoid the official procedures on price quotation.
b) 186 local orders amounting to RM268,892 between the year 2013 and 2015 were all prepared, verified and approved by the same officer.
c) HCTM's RM28.6 million worth multi-storey building was not completed according to the schedule in January 2015. The Public Works Department is still looking for a new contractor to complete the building's car park.
The second series of the 2015 AG's report also revealed how medicine procurement contracts worth more than RM1 million within the healthy ministry, were not bound by formal contracts.
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