The Auditor-General has charged the management of the University of Ghana Hospital to go after clients who are indebted to it.
Thirteen entities have been listed in the 2020 Auditor-General’s report as having failed to pay for various medical services it received from the Hospital.
Some of these entities have been indebted to the health facility since 2014.
Among the thirteen, Staff of the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA Staff) owe the most – GHC 422,991.29
Other top owing entities in the list are Ghana Water Co. Ltd. – Accra East (GHC 191,884.31), Premier Mutual Health Insurance (GHC 163,863.94), and Lands Valuation Division (GHC 145,248.55)
The Auditor-General believes that the Hospital has made ineffective efforts to issue demand notice for the recovery of the indebtedness.
The report warns that “the continuous increase in service receivable and the failure to ensure timely debt collection exposes the Hospital to cash flow difficulties to support its operational activities.”
Management of the Hospital has been asked to “strengthen its oversight functions on medical services rendered and timely enforce debt collection of all outstanding receivables at an agreed default interest rate to improve the Hospital’s cash flows.”
“We further recommended that Management should institute legal action against any cooperate client who fails to pay its indebtedness within a stipulated agreed time period,” the Auditor-General counseled.
Responding to the findings of the Auditor-General, management of the Hospital disclosed that it had suspended services to corporate institutions that were not making efforts to settle their indebtedness.
“Also, the Hospital’s Collection Unit has stepped up its collection activities together with the Accountant and the Acting Director of the Hospital. Management has further asked the Accounts Receivable Unit of the University to support the effort of the hospital to retrieve the monies owed,” they added.
Management of the hospital says that about 46% of outstanding debt has been retrieved as of March 2020.
“As a result of the new measures, GH¢537,503 (46%) of the outstanding debt has been retrieved as at end of March 2020. The Legal Counsel is in the process of formalizing the service agreement with the clients in which payment terms will be clearly stated and enforced,” the hospital’s management continued.
Absence of operational manual
The Auditor-General also raised concerns about the absence of “a comprehensive document such as administrative, procurement and human resource manuals to provide clear policies and procedures to promote
efficiency and overall effectiveness in the general administration and management of the Hospital”
The Auditor-General believes that “the lack of standard procedures over the years had caused continuous ad hoc management practices from staff to operate the Hospital in a non-coherent manner.”
The report advised the hospital’s management to establish and document its own internal policies and procedures, in line with the general public legal framework of providing quality health care service delivery, to guide the general management and administration of the Hospital.
But the hospital says that it is regulated by the human resource and procurement policies of the University.
That notwithstanding, it said that the Hospital Management Committee would be tasked to document their administrative procedures and start implementation by August 1, 2020.