HSE bosses slammed for wasting taxpayers’ money by ordering 10 times more ventilators than were needed during Covid pandemic – TheLiberal.ie – Our News, Your Views

HSE bosses slammed for wasting taxpayers’ money by ordering 10 times more ventilators than were needed during Covid pandemic




 

HSE bosses have been criticized for wasting taxpayers’ money by ordering ten times more ventilators than are clinically needed during the Covid pandemic.

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) reviewed the expenditure, ordering 3,500 expensive medical equipment worth €129 million.

This is ten times what would be required as part of a “surge capacity planning” and nearly double the 1,900 that have been officially approved by health department heads.

And the PAC found that almost €7 million was spent on ventilators that were never needed.

The Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) performs forensic accounting work for the Expenditure Supervisor PAC, reports The Mirror.

The HSE receives over €23 billion annually from the public exchequer through the government.

PAC chairman Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley criticized the signings as there was no clear business case for all of them.

Mr Stanley said: “The C&AG reports that in March and April 2020, as part of its emergency response to the spread of Covid-19, the Health Service Executive (HSE) ordered almost 3,500 new ventilators at a total cost of €129million. This is nearly double the 1,900 sanctioned by the Department of Health, and more than 10 times the number the HSE’s clinical staff had estimated would be needed as part of its ‘surge capacity planning’,” reports The Mirror.

The PAC believes that lessons should be drawn from the poor monitoring of expenditure in this case.

Mr Stanley added: “The special report also recommends the development of practical guidance for public bodies on the use of advance payments and it sets out various areas where specific guidance is required. This recommendation has been accepted by the Office of Government Procurement at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform,” reports The Mirror.

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