Freetown, SIERRA LEONE – The Regional Government Hospital in Makeni still owes EDSA and SALWACO over SLE6.8 million (SLE6,839,021.00) for utilities after SLE84,647 million was paid from an outstanding SLE6,923,668.00 arrears.
According to the Auditor General’s Annual Report 2022, the Hospital had debts owed to various suppliers and service providers as at 31st December 2022 with a total amount of SLE 9.4 million (SLE9,428,753.00).
However, from the above amount SLE1,551,400 and SLE980,685 relate to diet and cleaning respectively. This the Auditors said is particularly significant as interviews conducted with officials of the Hospital revealed that some donor partners were providing support partly to cover the Hospital’s water rate and electricity bills.
We recommended that the MoHS should ensure that the debt position of the Makeni Regional Hospital is settled to restore its reputation to various suppliers and service providers within the shortest possible time.
According to the official response given to the Auditors, they said that a letter was sent to the Ministry of Health last year regarding the debt of the Hospital to suppliers and utility providers (EDSA and SALWACO).
“The Hospital will not be able to pay these debts which have accrued since it started operations. CHAMPS has been however supporting the Hospital in making some payments to EDSA and SALWACO. Therefore, the administration has written to CHAMPS to make the receipts of their payments available for verification by the audit team.
The Hospital had also issued SLE30,000 cheque payments to EDSA. However, there were some difficulties in processing the cheque between our bank and theirs. This cheque is still with us and ready for verification” they replied.
During audit verification, the letter sent to the Ministry for the water rate and EDSA bills debts to be paid was submitted for verification. However, from the total debts of SLE9,428,753.00 owed, SLE84,647 was paid for utilities (EDSA and SALWACO) by the Ministry of Health headquarters and CHAMPS Makeni, leaving a balance of SLE9,344,106. As at the audit verification date, the cheque of SLE30,000 has still not been cleared. The issue remains unresolved. ZIJ/5/1/2023