Malaysian health officer caught stealing pharmaceutical products

Malaysian health officer caught stealing pharmaceutical products
File photo of medicine.

KUALA LUMPUR - The Health Ministry has lodged a police report against an officer who was found to have stolen some pharmaceutical products following revelation of missing assets in the Auditor-General's Report 2013.

The officer who was caught stealing on close-circuit television at Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL) had resigned, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam.

"We have lodged a police report and the case is under investigation," he said after the launch of the "Malaysia Neuro Symposium: Transformative Technologies" yesterday.

On Monday, it was reported that the ministry lost 7,712 assets worth at least RM44 million (S$17 million) between 2011 and 2013, according to the A-G's Report.

From the total, stocks of medicine worth RM1.21 million was stolen from HKL and a further RM240,000 from Hospital Pulau Pinang.

There were also recurring losses of four types of assets - air conditioning compressors, syringe pumps, physiologic monitoring systems and pulse oxymeters worth RM610,000.

Dr Subramaniam said that if there was enough evidence, the police could take criminal action against the officer who was spotted stealing some of the products.

He also pointed out that they had found many things that were deemed missing by the audit within the HKL building while some had expired but were not recorded.

He said it was common for hospital equipment to be shared and moved from ward to ward or from one level to another and monitoring this was difficult.

"I have asked the hospital director to look into the processes on how we can monitor the movement of equipment in the hospital," he said, adding that he agreed that the security system needed to be improved.

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