Express News Service
HYDERABAD: The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report for the year ended March, 2019, for Telangana has revealed stark gaps in the functioning of the State Health Department.
For instance, the report has found that a third party agency, which had bagged the contract for maintaining critical and non-critical medical equipment for a period of five years under a National Health Mission scheme across all teaching and non-teaching hospitals, has not performed efficiently.
More conspicuously, the report has found that the agency took more time than what was stipulated to address just 25 per cent of the complaints regarding the medical equipment supplied to various hospitals. These complaints, in fact, remained unaddressed for more than 18 days, which the report notes can be “catastrophic” for patient care.
The agency was also required to provide stand-by equipment at a health facility in the event of breakdown of equipment. However, this was not complied with in any of the hospitals. The agency also failed to equip the hospitals with adequate staff to maintain the equipment. Nearly 92 of the 139 technical positions were vacant.
The report made scathing remarks on Telangana State Medical Services and Infrastructure Development Corporation (TSMSIDC) for failing to pull up the third party agency and rectify issues pertaining to the equipment. “Despite the agency’s poor service levels, the government gave it a long rope and terminated the contract only in December, 2019,” added the report.
Digital mgmt of medical data
The audit of mandated e-Hospital Management Systems, which is also a nationwide project, has highlighted major issues in the electronic management of medical data. As per the CAG report, due to a shortage of staff and data operators, crucial information, like names, phone numbers, discharge summaries, was not updated accurately.