Spending on the Covid-19 shock pandemic was revealed in a “damning” report as the HSE bought 10 times more ventilators than needed

THE HSE has spent €80m during the pandemic on ventilators that weren’t needed and many of which were never delivered, a damning new report reveals.

The Controller and Auditor General today has a review of some of the HSE expenses during the COVID-19 Crisis.

The HSE has spent €80m during the pandemic on ventilators that were not needed, many of which were never delivered

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The HSE has spent €80m during the pandemic on ventilators that were not needed, many of which were never deliveredPhoto credit: AP:Associated Press

The report has revealed that multimillion-euro transactions were completed through “verbal agreements” with companies that had no experience with ventilators.

HSE officials bulk-buyed 10 times more ventilators than their doctors told them they needed, wasting millions of euros in the process.

HSE clinical staff had said only 326 additional ventilators were needed to stock up for the Covid-19 crisis.

Nevertheless, the department for Health gave the HSE procurement team the green light to purchase 1,900 ventilators at a cost of around €74 million.

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In the end, the HSE spent €129 million on 3,500 ventilators over the course of the year Pandemic – more than 10 times the number clinical officials said were needed.

No business cases were filed for the majority of the ventilators, with the report claiming that the Department approved all HSE purchases.

Healthcare bought many of these devices from companies they had never done business with before and were not involved in the manufacture of ventilators.

More than €80 million in advances went to companies the HSE had never dealt with before.

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When the first batches of these machines arrived, they were unusable because they failed quality tests. Not a single ventilator from this deal was ever used by the HSE, while many others never arrived.

About €50m in payments have been returned to the HSE but the health service is still trying to recover €22m they paid for the devices.

Another €8 million will never be reimbursed by the HSE because they donated machines to other countries.

About 365 ventilators worth 6.8 million euros were handed over to India, while nine machines were donated Nepal.

“VERY CONCERNED”

Public Accounts Committee Chairman Brian Stanley today claimed the C&AG report was “devastating” and “very concerning”.

He said: “Why weren’t there due diligence checks on new suppliers and why weren’t orders canceled when we knew the products were either not fit for purpose or in excess?

“What progress is being made to collect the €22.3 million in orders that we either didn’t receive or weren’t fit for our purpose?

“As chair of the PAC, I will ask the committee to write to the HSE for answers.”

https://www.thesun.ie/health/10343144/hse-covid-pandemic-spending-report-ventilators-health/ Spending on the Covid-19 shock pandemic was revealed in a “damning” report as the HSE bought 10 times more ventilators than needed

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