The Auditor General has put question marks on a Shs 1.7bn payment to a local hospital for settlement of Medical bills for various UPDF officers and men who were referred there for treatment.
A review of the supporting documents indicated that the officers are referred to the Hospital by completing a medical form.
The Hospital has a form with a provision for the patient to sign on referral and after treatment.
But the AG discovered that the “forms were not filled by the patients and the hospital, a practice I find wanting because it can be abused.”
While the AG did not mention the hospital, ChimpReports has been informed the medical facility in question is Nakasero Hospital.
“The referring authority appears not to have control over the bills from the hospital. All bills are sent direct to the Accounting Officer without any input from the referring authority,” the AG discovered.
The AG’s report for the financial year ending June 2016 observed that, “It was not clear why most of the referrals are made to the local hospital (which is twice expensive) instead of Mulago Hospital.”
Nakasero Hospital management says on its website that it was started by a group of Consultant Doctors in 2009 who came together with a goal of setting up a world class hospital that would meet the healthcare needs of Ugandans and East Africans who were seeking medical treatment outside the region, due to the gap in quality healthcare services in the country.
It provides high-class services mainly to the middle class.
The AG cautioned about the “risk that without the Ministry’s control on medical bills from this hospital, the bills will escalate and failure to clear them on time could lead to litigation costs.”
Ministry of Defence Officials explained that all referrals were made in accordance with guidelines that were approved under Circular No.1 of 2015.
But the AG advised the Accounting Officer to “sensitise staff about the available guidelines and institute controls between the hospital and the Ministry.”