With health becoming a priority area for audit amid the Covid-19 outbreak, the Comptroller & Auditor General (CAG) of India has created a new vertical — health, welfare and rural development.
An order to this effect was issued by the office of CAG on June 1, said a source familiar with development.
The source said that as part of the restructuring exercise, a senior officer has been posted as Principal Director of Audit (Health, Welfare and Rural Development) against a newly created post carved out of the office of Director General of Audit, Central Expenditure.
The immediate task before the new vertical will be to expedite the performance audit of Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) and Employee State Insurance (ESI) hospitals from 2014-15 to 2018-19. “These two audit reports are likely to be submitted before the winter session of Parliament later this year,” said the source.
The performance audit of CGHS will be focused on the procurement of drugs for over 400 CGHS wellness centres and polyclinics, 73 labs and 3 hospitals spread across more than 40 cities.
CGHS, which provides healthcare facilities to about 34.19 lakh beneficiaries, including government employees, pensioners and MPs, incurred Rs 5,113 crore — almost half of its total expenditure — on drugs from 2014-15 to 2018-19.
During the performance audit of CGHS, CAG will also conduct a beneficiary survey involving issues such as availability and quality of drugs.
The performance audit of ESI hospitals will scrutinise whether these hospitals and dispensaries have requisite human resources to provide the assured services. It will also look into the practices of infection control and hygiene.
Besides the health, welfare and rural development vertical, separate officers have been posted for other sectors such as home, education & skill development; and agriculture, food and water resources.
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