In a shocking revelation, the Auditor-General has discovered that 95 unknown names of Sunyani Regional Hospital have been paid salaries totalling GH¢1.9 million (GH¢1,922,549.53) between January and December 2021.
What is even more baffling is that these unknown names were validated as staff of Sunyani Regional Hospital in the Bono Region and paid salaries every month.
However, when staff of the Auditor-General’s Department conducted a head count of personnel of the hospital, the 95 were nowhere to be found.
When questioned, the Human Resource Manager of Sunyani Regional Hospital Mr. Nicholas Oppong explained that the officers were placed on the Hospital’s Electronic Payment Voucher (ESPV) by the Bono Regional Health Directorate and that the officers were unknown to the Hospital.
The Auditor-General therefore instructed the Director General of Ghana Health Service (GHS) to ensure that the Regional Health Director and the Medical Director recover the amount of GH¢1.9 million (GH¢1,922,549.53) with interest at the prevailing Bank of Ghana rate from the affected persons.
The Auditor-General also ordered that the recovered amount should be paid into the Auditor-General’s Recoveries Account at Bank of Ghana.
The Auditor-General warned that the Regional Health Director, the Medical Director and Validators will be made to pay the amount if they fail to recover the money from the beneficiaries.
The directives are contained in the Report of the Auditor-General on the Public Accounts of Ghana – Ministries, Departments and other Agencies (MDAS) for the year ended December 31, 2022
The Auditor-General reiterated that Regulation 86 of the Public Financial Management Regulations 2019 requires a Principal Spending Officer to ensure that only the names of persons who are eligible to receive payment for work done are kept on the payment voucher.
The Regional Hospital was established on May 11, 1927 by the then Colonial Masters as a Hospital for the people of Western Ashanti.
Since the establishment of the hospital the population of Sunyani and, Brong Ahafo had increased more than 10 fold.
The Hospital had undergone a long transformation and expansion from the time the Brong Ahafo Region was calved out of the Ashanti Region 45 years ago.
On August 4, 2003 the hospital moved its services from the 79 years old facility into an ultramodern hospital with the state of art medical equipment and diagnostic facilities.
It is to be upgraded to a teaching hospital this year.
The upgrading of the hospital would bring relief to the people, as they travelled long distances in ambulances from Dormaa-Ahenkro to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital at Kumasi on referrals.