Health ministry under fire for overspending


The Ministry of Health (MoH) had to defend itself after coming under fire for its overspending. Appearing before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), the ministry’s permanent secretary Grace Muzila had a hard time explaining the ministry’s overuse of allocated funds.

A PAC member, Mephato Reatile, questioned why the ministry had spent so much money to an extent of overspending in expenses including P1.4 million on general expenses and supplies, P4.1 million on training and P184 million in summaries and allowance.

The expenses are all stated to be caused by arrears on allowance originating from a previous year. Reatlie also indicated that according to the report presented before the committee, medical fees and ARV drugs also contributed to the ministry’s overspending. But Muzila's response was that the P184 million overspending was caused by scarce skills allowance that they do not budget for. She explained that they were in talks with the Ministry of Finance that their scarce skills were up from 40% and 60% per officer. “There is need for budget because the vacancies were not enough to pay. We are always overspending because there are items that have not been budgeted for. We cannot ignore the scarce skills because we are talking about very significant expenditures.

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