The North West Department of Health has placed four managers on suspension following allegations of mismanagement.

“The North West Department of Health can confirm that four managers in Mahikeng have been put on precautionary suspension following alleged mismanagement involving expired medication and management of the depot and staff while the investigation continues,” said departmental spokesperson Tebogo Lekgethwane on Tuesday.

Two of the officials are from the medical depot while the other two are from the provincial office.

The allegations levelled against the managers concerned include among others dereliction of duty in failing to make timeous payments to service providers and alleged unfair labour practices, according to the department.

The suspension is effective immediately.

Failure to disclose or report on the existence of the storage room that houses expired medication at the depot and failure to disclose or report on the availability of expired medication at the depot are part of the areas under investigation.

The investigation will also look into possible failure to set up systems for managing pharmaceutical services; failure to set up systems for timely payments to the pharmaceutical service providers.

It will also look into failure to correct disparities in salaries of the depot staff despite staff members performing the same responsibilities.

“The purpose of the precautionary suspension is to make sure that the managers’ presence at work does not hinder the investigation. The department is currently working on plans to avoid future occurrence of similar challenges at the medical depot,” said Lekgethwane

As part of intervention by the Section 100 1b Administration, a swat team from non-government organisations who work in the area of pharmaceutical services has been brought in to attend to weaknesses.

A plan to improve delivery timelines and turnaround is in place. It involves direct deliveries of medication to hospitals while the medical depot will now deliver directly to clinics.