The Auditor General’s Office (AGO) has recommended an examination into the factors contributing to the lack of alterations in Aasandha coverage, aligning with the objectives outlined in the Fiscal Strategy 2024-2026 published by the Ministry of Finance. This call to action is encapsulated in the 2024 Recommendation to the proposed budget, unveiled by the AGO today.
The AGO has highlighted a significant surge in expenses associated with Aasandha over the past two years, revealing that despite being incorporated into the budget to import medicines via bulk procurement through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with an intended reduction of MVR 40.8 million, this measure has yet to be implemented from the 2023 budget onwards.
The AGO has drawn attention to the absence of guidelines aimed at curbing the overuse of Aasandha, as outlined in the budget, to mitigate expenses. The lack of a clear framework has raised concerns, especially given the absence of any methodology to estimate the extent of Aasandha overuse within the budgetary provisions.
Furthermore, the AGO has emphasised the non-implementation of proposed changes in the Aasandha regulations and guidelines. Stressing the need for a structured timeline and accountability system, the AGO contends that monitoring these proposed changes is crucial for the effective management of Aasandha and its associated expenses.
As stakeholders navigate these financial intricacies, the AGO’s call prompts a critical examination of the implementation gaps in Aasandha-related budgetary measures.