An investigation is currently underway at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC)
after more than $4M could not be accounted for during a recent audit.
A cashier at the institution has since been sent off duty and is on station bail pending the outcome of an audit being conducted by the Auditor General’s Office.
“We are dealing with an unfortunate situation of a scandal… which has demonstrated certain weaknesses, Minister of Health Dr. Bheri Ramsaran told reporters, shortly after meeting with GPHC management today.
Ramsaran, who said that a total of $4.131 million cannot be accounted for, informed that a cashier is being held accountable for the missing monies and said that she was currently on bail.
Stabroek News understands that the monies were discovered missing during a small department audit and the Auditor General’s Office was called in.
A source explained that the money comes from the various payments received by the hospital, such as partial payments made by patients for CT Scans, which are done at private institutions on a contractual arrangement with the GPHC and medical record printouts.
The source said that the female cashier was on the spot taken into police custody and the institution had first been thinking of having her sign restitution contract. However, to date a decision has not yet been made on what her fate would be.
Ramsaran pointed out that currently the GPHC is working with the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) to tighten up on its accounting systems for pharmaceuticals. “The hospital is now actively involved with PAHO… in setting up systems and learning how other jurisdictions… better manage their procurement inventory and distribution,” he said.
He said that while he supports the audit and awaits the outcome to ascertain the extent of the fraud, he has taken an “arm’s length” approach giving the relevant authorities room to execute their work.
Meanwhile Ramsarran informed that the hospital’s chairmanship had changed.
Finance Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Neermal Rekha has replaced Chief of Staff Mark Phillips as the latter tendered his resignation on the 25th of September last.