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Audit reveals leased medical equipment lie idle, undelivered to county hospitals

COUNTIES
By Julius Chepkwony | February 27th 2021

Auditor General Nancy Gathungu. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

A recent audit on counties by the Auditor General has revealed shocking details on the status of leased medical equipment in various county public hospitals.

Though counties entered into a deal with the national government for the supply of specialised medical equipment five years ago, some counties are yet to receive their kits despite signing a Memorandum of Understanding and paying millions.

Some of the medical equipment are lying idle in various health facilities across the country.

Supporting documents

The 2018/2019 audit, however, revealed county executive did not provide supporting documents by way of agreements detailing the leased equipment types, specifications and quantities.

Bomet County paid Sh200 million towards annual leased medical equipment.

Site verification by auditors to sampled hospitals on December 18, 2019, revealed that three patient beds and two chairs at the renal unit at Longisa Hospital, an autoclave machines Serial No. 19299 at the CSSD Centre and a radiography equipment and C-arm machines delivered to Ndanai Sub-hospital remained idle in the respective facilities.

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In Nandi County, Health executive in February 2015 signed an MoU with the national government for provision of medical equipment and related services. 

Lot one was for supply of theatre equipment, lot 2 supply of theatre sterilisation equipment, lot 5 renal dialysis equipment, lot 6 intensive care unit equipment and lot 7 radiology equipment.

Records presented for audit by Nandi County executive indicated that as at October 2018, lease rental payments totalled Sh390 million.

It, however, emerged that the values of the equipment supplied were not reflected in the County Assets records and therefore criteria used to charge the lease rentals could not be confirmed.

The audit noted that lot 6 that was for supply of ICU equipment was not delivered. 

Further the audit revealed that a C-arm equipment at Kapsabet Hospital was not in use due to insufficient space in the theatre.

A C-arm at Nandi Hills Hospital was also not in use. The audit revealed that it was intended for use in the maternity theatre but renovations and upgrade of the theatre were delayed and works were ongoing at the time of the audit.

An X-ray fixed equipment at Kapsabet and Nandi Hills hospitals had not been put to use since electricity supply was not upgraded to the level required for use of the equipment. 

“In view of these anomalies, the valuation of the assets obtained through the scheme and validity of the lease payments totalling to Sh390 million could not be confirmed. Also it was not possible to establish whether Nandi County received value for money on the lease payments,” read the audit

In Nyandarua County, the audit flagged lack of managed equipment service lease agreement.

The county executive of Nyandarua and the Ministry of Health allegedly entered into an MoU for Managed Equipment Services (MES) on February 10, 2015.

Seven-year deal

The equipment was to be provided to the county on a seven-year lease agreement and classified under various slots, all totalling to Sh487,234,043.

The amount, the audit indicated, is deducted at the National Treasury and retained at the Ministry of Health.

Further, the cost of the items received are unknown and therefore the basis for the rental amount could not be determined.

The county is yet to receive laboratory equipment and ICU equipment five years down the line.

The Auditor General said she could not confirm if the county residents have received value for money from MES agreement.

Uasin Gishu County signed an MoU with the national government on February 24, 2015. Ziwa and Burnt Forest sub-county hospitals were to receive theatre and radiology equipment under leased programme.

The audit indicated that examination of delivery records and physical verification done in October, 2018, revealed that no theatre and radiology equipment was supplied to the two hospitals.

Available correspondence indicated that theatre equipment initially allocated to Ziwa were issued to Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital. 

“These anomalies were yet to be explained or resolved,” concluded the audit.

In Baringo County, the audit noted that there was no evidence to show for operational and maintenance of the equipment budgeted for while the criteria used to pay for the equipment was not clear.

Analysis of expenditure records for the years 2017,2 018 and 2019 in relation to Baringo County as per the audit reflected payments totalling Sh391,489,362.

Further, the County did not receive the Computed Tomography (CT) scan and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machines.

“As a result of these omissions, it is not possible to confirm whether the county obtained value for payment of Sh391,489,362 made in respect of the equipment,” stated the Auditor General.

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