Legislators sitting on Public Accounts Committee have this morning blamed the Fort Portal Hospital director Dr. Charles Olara for failing to plan properly and accumulating expired drugs. Dr. Olara was responding to audit queries of 2012/2013 financial year which indicated that the hospital stored expired drugs alongside the good ones.
Dr. Olara was responding to audit queries of 2012/2013 financial year which indicated that the hospital stored expired drugs alongside the good ones. Olara explained that the expired drugs have already been confined in a secure place from other drugs. He said the government policy to deliver drugs to the lower units is the reason there is accumulation of expired drugs.
Tasked to explain why he doesn’t request only for drugs that he plans to use, the hospital director said it is unpredictable when patients would need the drugs.
Olara attracted criticism when he attributed the accumulation of expired drugs to the change in treatment by the medical team. Adjumani woman MP Jesca Ababiko blamed Dr Olara for not being in charge of the hospital. She said if Olara was in charge he could be able to assess what he needs instead of waiting for the drugs to expire.
//Cue in: Jesisca: “On the expired drugs…
Cue Out:…planning as usual.”//
Olara told PAC that even if he planned there are drugs whose life on the shelf is limited, adding that the hospital has to stock to avoid the risk of having no medicine in case of an emergency. He also noted that some drugs are very vital yet unpredictable such as magnesium sulphate.
In order to secure the drugs, Olara said the hospital has employed two pharmacists to ensure that there is no leakage of the expired drugs.
//Cue in: Olara: But Now….
Cue: Out: …the expired drugs.”//
He revealed that the Ministry of Health has come up with a policy to ensure the reduction of drug expiry. Government has issued a framework to ensure that there is sustainable and rational use of medicine.
The committee also ordered Olara to produce a file on procurement for the hospital. MPs are bitter that when the auditors went to the hospital, the authorities denied them the file. Olara said the accounting officer at the time didn’t hand over the file when he was transferred.
Jinja East MP Paul Mwiru who chaired the meeting accused the Hospital director of trying to confuse the committee, reminding him that he would be held solely responsible.
According to the Auditor General’s report, the hospital made procurement of 173 million shillings but have no record of it. The committee tasked Olara to produce the support documents by tomorrow before a report on his operation is finalised.