The Comptroller and Auditor General of India has criticised the functioning of Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Science in the Valley, highlighting various financial and operational deficiencies.
The performance review of SKIMS revealed various financial and operational deficiencies like under-utilisation of funds and irregular withdrawals, State Principal Accountant General (Audit) Subhash Chandra Pandey told reporters while releasing the CAG report in Srinagar on Thursday.
The report said the institute did not have any approved long term master or perspective plan for phased and planned infrastructure development and for purchase of medical equipment or civil infrastructure.
“The project and financial management in the institute was lax as manifested in persistent under-utilisation of allotted budget ranging between eight to 28 per cent, irregular withdrawal of funds ranging from Rs. 0.73 crore to Rs. 14.42 crore for crediting to civil deposits to avoid the lapse of budget, irregular utilisation of up to 61 per cent of sundry hospital receipts for unapproved purposes and irregular personal claims,” the report said.
The report said the infrastructure development was not planned properly as the works targeted for completion by 2010-11 were incomplete besides seven schemes for which Rs. 8.51 crores had been credited to civil deposit head were not taken up for execution.
“The advance centre for human genetics and local area networking systems could not be established in the institute due to improper planning despite investment of Rs. 12.12 crore,” the report said.
The CAG observed that the internal control system of the institute was inadequate.
The report said out of 2,57,993 patients admitted in the institute during 2007 to May 2012, as many as 12860 deaths occurred, of which 7875 deaths occurred in 48 hours after admission.
“Maximum number of deaths occurred in Neurosurgery (2546) followed by Neurology department (2303). The death rate in Neonatology was four per cent of the total deaths,” the report said.
The CAG said the number of patients who attended the Out Patient Department in the institute has steadily risen by 28 per cent from 5,16,860 in 2007-08 to 6,60,482 in 2011-12.
“The institute has not carried out any study of the patient profile to ascertain whether this rising trend indicated any deficiency on the part of the primary health care service providers leading to indiscriminate rush at the institute’s OPD,” the report said, adding, the tertiary character of the institute was thus getting diluted.
The report said the patients had to wait for surgeries from one month to 12 months and for diagnostic tests or investigations for the period ranging between 10 days to 524 days.
The CAG pointed that no road-map to achieve excellence in medical research had been prepared by the institute.
“The research activity had been restricted just to payment of monthly clinical research allowance of Rs 2500 to the faculty members without verifying the eligibility conditions for the allowance”, it said.
Earlier, the report was tabled in the state Assembly in Jammu on April 5.