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GH₵7M SCANDAL AT HEALTH MINISTRY

Politics

Available findings from the Restructuring Committee of the Health Training Institutions Secretariat, submitted to the  Health Minister, Kweku Agyemang Manu, has revealed that 71,612  out of 300,000 printed scratch cards used for the admission of nursing students in the   2015/16 academic year has not been accounted for.

Available findings from the Restructuring Committee of the Health Training Institutions Secretariat, submitted to the  Health Minister, Kweku Agyemang Manu, has revealed that 71,612  out of 300,000 printed scratch cards used for the admission of nursing students in the   2015/16 academic year has not been accounted for.

 

According to statistics from Fleek Technology, the company contracted to print the cards, a total of 300,000 cards were printed out, while 188,900 cards were distributed to various sales points.

143,513 were in the custody of the Secretariat, with 11,100 surpluses, whereas 32,412 cards were returned to the health secretariat after the admission process had expired.

In all, records showed that 84,487 cards were used, leaving 71, 612 to the fate of the then ‘corrupt’ officials of the Secretariat of the various Health Training Institutions.

According to the findings, an estimated amount of GH₵ 7,161,200 had been lost by the Ministry in 2016 alone.

After several complaints from the public on the system and the manner in which it was abused, the Health Minister, upon assumption of office in February, set up a six-member committee to investigate the operations of the Secretariat and the many allegations leveled against it.

It would be recalled that the Secretariat used to sell out admission forms to interested and qualified applicants, but the trend was changed to the card system where applicants had to buy scratch cards, fill and submit their forms through the internet since 2013.

The Health Training Institutes Secretariat was established in 2015, to oversee the running of health training institutions in the country, a function previously performed by the Human Resource Directorate of the Ministry of Health.

The separation of the secretariat’s activities from the mainstream ministry oversight resulted in gross mismanagement of the Training Institutions and the non-adherence to laid down public service procedures.

Among other things, the committee was set up to advise the Minister of Health on modalities for the restructuring of the Health Training Institutions Secretariat; advise on modalities for form sales and also advise on fees to be charged by the secretariat in respect of basic and post-training programme.

The committee’s findings disclosed that there were no conscious efforts by the Secretariat to retrieve unsold cards from the point of sales, adding that there were also no laid down sanctions for non-return of unsold scratch cards.

The report states: “HTI secretariat has already distributed 45,013 scratch cards from the previous year’s supply in 2017 although there was a clear directive to stop the sale of forms as far back as 16th January, 2017. A review of the contract with Fleet Technologies reveals that the contract is an open-ended one and payment is based on usage. This was contrary to what the committee was told by the Executive Secretary that there is a five year contract with company.”