P42.6-M equipment idle in hospitals, says COA

By Michael Punongbayan, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jan 04 2013 09:53 AM | Updated as of Jan 05 2013 01:39 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Some P42.6-million worth of equipment and other facilities in various government hospitals are lying idle, according to a 2011 report of the Commission on Audit (COA).

COA said such government properties have not been utilized due to defects, incompatibility and lack of manpower training, resulting in “foregone revenues, wastage of government funds and non-delivery of efficient quality health care services.

The COA report cited the P9.6-million fire safety and protection project equipment of the Philippine Orthopedic Center, which had not been used.

Laboratory equipment for processing of histopath specimen at the Tondo Medical Center valued at P7.1 million also remain unutilized since 2002 for lack of personnel to handle the procedure. 

A freezer, dishwashing machine conveyor, oven steam convection, tilting kettle, ice-making machine, bulk food conveyor, microfilm camera, planetary desktop, microfilm processor and a Minolta printer at the San Lazaro Hospital worth P4.1 million were likewise unused.

“The non-utilization of these equipment/machines and facilities deprived the hospitals of additional income, wasted government funds and prevented the hospitals from delivering quality health care services to the public,” the COA report said.

State auditors urged the Department of Health to order the chiefs of concerned hospitals to determine the appropriate action to ensure that government funds would not be wasted.

“If necessary, take appropriate administrative and criminal action against the responsible officials for the wastage of government funds,” the audit team said.