Co-leader of the Social Democrats, Róisín Shortall TD, has raised serious concerns surrounding the awarding of a €14m contract by the HSE to an Irish company that imported ventilators from China that were unfit for use.
Speaking during Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil today, Deputy Shortall said:
“I accept that the Government and HSE were operating during a very pressurised period back in March and there was a rush to secure vital medical equipment. However, it now seems there was a serious problem with these ventilators, which have never been used in a clinical setting due to quality issues.
“This purchase raises questions about procurement and financial controls. We need to know why a company that had only previously been known for event management and organising festivals in the Middle East managed to secure this contract. As a result, the taxpayer has been caught for the huge figure of €14m.
“There are serious concerns about how this situation came about. I have asked the Tánaiste to check the records to establish how contact was made with this company and what approvals were required for the placing of that order.
“Nearly nine months later, we have no idea where those ventilators are or even how many were delivered to this country.
“A subsidiary of this company has also been involved in a community based Covid-19 testing programme in Roscommon, as well as the development of the Health Passport app. Again, this raises questions about data protection and the standing of a company with no history or expertise in the health products area.”
December 17, 2020