The Ministry of Health has just recently promised the Health Promotion Board that they will be more careful and conservative when it comes to its projection for resources. This was after the Auditor-General’s Office was able to find that the statutory board actually wasted $5.39 million of public funds, which was spent on fitness trackers that weren’t put to use.
HPB Findings on MOH Spendings
According to the story by Singapore News Network, the AGO reportedly found an excess of 268,000 fitness trackers that were valued at $4.26 million that had not been used.
In planning for the many seasons of the official National Steps Challenge, the HPB would reportedly estimate the demand mostly based on the previous seasons’ trend and projected increase in demand due to the upcoming season’s eligibility criteria.
The results, however, showed an over-estimation in demand, which surplused 341,000 fitness trackers, which were valued at $5.39 million. It also reportedly discovered that a number of the trackers ended up with mouldy straps as well as watch faces.
In other news, expats in Thailand are now struggling to get digital health passes due to a difference in ID numbers.
341,000 Excess Fitness Trackers Found
In addition to this, the two-year warranty for about 65% of the excess trackers had already expired, while the 35% of the remaining trackers would expire come December 2021.
This is higher than the AGO estimations, and was found when the HPB started to conduct a full stock count.
MOH explained the reasons behind the wastage on September 13, 2021, noting the 120,000 excess fitness trackers remain functional and 48,000 have actually been used to replace others with faulty trackers and those that have expired warranties.
It was noted that around 3,000 trackers have reportedly been used to help support community partners, companies, as well as other government agencies when it came to their health and wellness initiatives.
The remaining 69,000 functional trackers will actually continue to be used for the exact same purpose.
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HPB Movement Tracking
The HPB has been able to conduct a full review of the matter and has also enhanced the process for central monitoring of the whole movement and stocks of these fitness trackers, according to the MOH.
In order to prevent these issues from happening in the future, the HPB will now track movement across all the other distribution channels closely and on a day to day basis. This is so that they can detect signs of excesses building up.
Physical stock checks and audits will also be done twice every year instead of just annually. Excess inventory coming from the previous years will reportedly be counted towards providing trackers for the next years’ activities.
Meanwhile, Apple Watch’s partner Rockley Photonics announces a venture with medtech firms to provide non-invasive health sensor capabilities to help monitor users.
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Written by Urian B.
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