August 22, 2021 1:03:16 am
The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has written to the state health department asking it to get documents ready for a performance audit. The letter is in line with the Centre’s move to get a performance audit in the healthcare sector.
According to CAG sources, there were complaints manifold from across states during the Covid-19 pandemic on the rickety healthcare structure, infrastructure, services at hospitals and health centres. All these complaints on the general state of healthcare and to what extent it benefits the public would be scrutinised and assessed by the CAG.
The audit will have three components — compliance audit, financial audit and the third and most elaborate performance audit. During the third audit process, the CAG would examine if public money allocated for healthcare schemes and projects were utilised properly and if people drew the desired benefits.
In the letter sent to state Health Secretary Narayan Swarup Nigam on August 16, Principal Accountant General of West Bengal, Sarat Chaturbedi wrote, “Every year, detailed audit on various topics is taken up by my office for featuring in the audit report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India for the State of West Bengal. This year, a comprehensive study on the subject ‘Public health infrastructure and management of health services’ has been planned by CAG’s office for the aforementioned audit report for the year ended March 22. This topic will be simultaneously taken up across all the states.”
He further wrote, “The scope of the proposed performance audit is broad as it covers both health infrastructure and management of health services covering primary, secondary as well as tertiary health care systems. Service provided by AYUSH will also be covered in this audit.”
The audit will start from the first week of the next month. Initially, the CAG will look into the status of health infrastructure and services. In the second phase, CAG officers will look into the health infrastructure at various institutes, research organisations, pharmaceutical companies, etc., the type of services they provide, and how much the general public benefits from them.
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