Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Thursday, 23 September 2021
Public Accounts Committee
Financial Statement 2020 and Related Matters: HSE (Resumed)
I want to go back some of our questioning last week and follow on from Deputy Munster. I understand there were pressures but what I am hearing from Mr. Reid is it seems that despite the money provided, which itself seems to have been well in excess of that in other countries per capita, there were no control measures in place. All caution was thrown to the wind. I would have thought the object was to ensure we have systems in place for when a crisis hits us. I thought the objective was to ensure we have institutional capacity, particularly in relation to procurement, to be able to deal with substantial shocks such as Covid. As I said, spending €81 million on 2,200 ventilators that were of no use whatever is an extraordinary and abject failure on the part of the HSE and its procurement department. I cannot see how Mr. Reid can defend it in any way. I fully understand that people will get into dire straits but not when their day-to-day job is procurement.