KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 29 — Nearly a third of medical equipment that are still being used at Ministry of Health (MOH) hospitals are either over two decades old or beyond repair, according to the latest Auditor-General report.
The National Audit Report 2019 Series 2 released in Parliament yesterday stated that MOH does not have its own management system and policy on the use, maintenance, and replacement of medical equipment.
This meant that 50,452, or 19.6 per cent of MOH’s overall medical assets as of December 31, 2020, were over 20 years old with a cost of RM641.59 million. An additional 29,654 (11.5 per cent) medical equipment identified as “beyond economic repair” are still being used in hospitals.
Meanwhile, 1,373 (0.5 per cent) medical devices that were procured for RM38.67 million were discontinued from the Biomedical Engineering Maintenance Services maintenance programme even though they have not reached maturity.
There were 309,829 medical equipment in total as of December 31, 2020, procured for RM7.78 billion that are used in 159 public hospitals nationwide. MOH received an allocation of RM1.33 billion to procure medical equipment under the 11th Malaysia Plan, of which RM1.3 billion (97.7 per cent) has been spent. A total of 58,218 (85.5 per cent) medical equipment were still in good condition.
The report also found that eight hospitals do not utilise the Asset and Services Information System (ASIS). Five hospitals have their own systems, while three do not have a maintenance system.
“Overall, the management of medical equipment by the MOH generally meets the requirement to deliver health services to the community.
“However, the implementation of continuous maintenance programmes without specifying an optimal period of use for medical equipment could be harmful to the government. The cost of maintenance has exceeded the cost of procurement of new devices, as old and out-of-date medical equipment are still being used,” the AG’s report read.
“Additionally, the ASIS system is not optimally used to make decisions regarding budget applications, procurement planning, and fixing maintenance periods.”