By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Provincial administrator, Atty. Rayfrando Diaz, recently announced the P100 million Negros Occidental Comprehensive Health Program is undergoing a review by the Internal Audit Office and Accounting Office. The agencies noted “systematic problems” with program spending.
The program was initially funded in 2010 through allocations by the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) from Negros Occidental’s six congressional representatives. The situation has since changed and the provincial government is now the sole source for funding.
The provincial official said that they are also looking into problems regarding the non-availability of medicines despite a “huge” cash advance for program coordinators to procure medicine from outside the district hospitals.
“After conducting an inquiry, I was told the program failed to settle P26 million in debt,” Diaz explained.
He went on to say it was the reason why government hospitals were unable to provide certain medicine.
In addition, the program owes P4 million to pharmacies outside district hospitals.
“What we are reviewing is the system, which has so many loopholes and avenues that raised more questions,” he added.
As of last month, there are a total 326,868 enrolled in the program, which provides free outpatient care, including consultations with full course treatment, medicines, and subsidized in-patient care, at provincial government-run hospitals and other participating government hospitals./DGB, WDJ