Monday, April 22, 2024

Plans to improve procurement system at QEH

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The system of securing goods and services at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) is to undergo forensic investigation as the new board moves to address procurement practices.

Chairman of the hospital’s board, Juliette Bynoe-Sutherland, said Friday the board had secured the services of a consultant who would be working with the Ministry of Finance “to re-engineer the procurement department and the business processes”.

“We have also recognised that there may be areas of significant challenges with the items that we are purchasing at the hospital. In this regard, we have identified the need to undertake a forensic audit of the procurement function of the hospital and in consultation with the Honourable Prime Minister we have identified a local firm who is best placed to assist us in this regard.”

Bynoe-Sutherland disclosed the steps being taken to address shortages and procurement practices at the hospital after Minister of Transport Dr William Duguid asked about exorbitant prices paid for certain supplies under a past board.

Query

“I would like to ask the current chairman of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital to find out if the procurement practices at the QEH are in fact up to date and accurate and is it that the cost of a box of gloves is still double what it would be on the open market today,” Duguid asked Minister of Health Jeffrey Bostic and his team fielding questions in the Well of the House during the Estimates debate.

“The honourable minister is correct that the issue of procurement has been a very vexed question for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for many years,” Bynoe-Sutherland replied.

“Not only do we have the challenges of getting supplies properly to the staff in need of it, we also have problems with pricing and acquiring items at competitive rates.”

For this reason, she said, responsibility for procuring goods and services had since been placed under the control of the hospital’s finance department. ( GC)

Juliette Bynoe-Sutherland (FP)

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