CAG report points to non-utilisation of central funds for health dept | punjab | Hindustan Times
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CAG report points to non-utilisation of central funds for health dept

With the central assistance being not utilised in time the state suffered due to absence proper planning for medical education, health infrastructure, research and specialised health care. These deficiencies have been revealed in the findings of the recent report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) for the year that ended March 31, 2013, which was tabled in the budget session.

punjab Updated: Feb 24, 2014 00:41 IST
Bhawani Negi
Bhawani Negi
Hindustan Times

With the central assistance being not utilised in time the state suffered due to absence proper planning for medical education, health infrastructure, research and specialised health care. These deficiencies have been revealed in the findings of the recent report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) for the year that ended March 31, 2013, which was tabled in the budget session.

The office manual of the state government requires the health department to prepare an annual action plan for all departmental programmes and schemes in January or February every year. However, the audit scrutiny revealed that during 2008-13, the department of medical education and research (DMER) had not prepared the annual action plans, states the report.

The action plans requires detailing of the implementation strategy for development of medical education, improvement in quality of medical education, having due regard to the needs of un-served and under-developed areas of the state, it maintained.

The report added that the planning for creation and development of health infrastructure and research activities was missing and no initiative had been taken by the department to identify and prioritise any state specific research during 2008-13.

It was also found that the then state government while issuing essentiality certificate to the Medical Council of India (MCI) in April 2012 for the conduct of super-specialty courses and increase in existing seats of post graduate courses had also proposed to achieve the doctor-patient ratio of 1: 1,000 in a phased manner.

It was, however, noticed in the audit that the department had not prepared any long-term specific plan during 2012-13 to achieve the goal of doctor-population ratio of 1: 1,000 by 2028.

The state has two Government Medical Colleges (GMCs) - Indira Gandhi Medical College (IGMC) and Dr Rajendra Prasad Government Medical College (RPGMC) - and Government Dental Colleges (GDC).

The union ministry of health and family welfare sanctioned grant-in-aid (August 2010) of `14.5 crore to IGMC for upgrade of the college, the cost sharing between the Centre and state government was in the ratio of 75:25 and accordingly the Centre released first instalment of `5.44 crore. As the state government did not release its matching share of `1.81 crore and the IGMC having failed to fully utilise `5.44 crore, the Centre did not release the remaining grant-in-aid.

That led to non-utilisation of central assistance of `8.14 crore against the total receipt of `14.03 crore during 2008-13 resulting in non-creation of infrastructure besides non-receipt of further central assistance of `11.27 crore, the report pointed out.

Machinery and equipment, including intensive care unit ventilators, vital sign monitors, colour doppler core vision, mammography system costing `3.52 crore, as on February 2013 remained unutilised for want of repairs at both GMCs and also at IGMC equipment were not available as per MCI norms.

As no trauma care centre existed at both the GMCs, the trauma patients had to seek treatment at distant places, maintains the report.

"In both GMCs and GDC there were also shortages in the cadres of teaching supporting and non-teaching staff ranging between 12-15 % and 26-35%, respectively. Monitoring and internal audit being crucial components were non-existent in the department," the report added.

While no super-specialty courses introduced at RPGMC, in IGMC only two specialty courses were operative, the report said.

The CAG has recommended effective steps for preparation of detailed plans for creation and development of infrastructure for medical education, health and for carrying out research activities.

Furthermore, accord priority for utilisation of available central assistance for timely creation of infrastructure facilities, minimise the shortage of manpower and infrastructure facilities in the GMCs, GDC and nursing colleges, operationalise monitoring and internal audit in the department in order to ensure effective check on the functioning of various institutions, it recommended.

The CAG maintained that the audit findings were referred to the government in June 2013, but no reply had been received till December 2013.

Ailing health dept
No trauma care centre existed at both medical colleges, IGMC and RPGMC
Monitoring and internal audit being crucial components were non-existent in the health department
Non-utilisation of central assistance of `8.14 crore against the total receipt of `14.03 crore during 2008-13
Machinery and equipment costing `3.52 crore lying unutilised owing to want of repairs and non-renewal of maintenance contracts
Shortages in the cadres of teaching supporting and non-teaching staff ranging between 12 to 15 % and 26 to 35 %, respectively.