Thursday, 14 February 2019
Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate
Medical Products Supply
I am not blaming the Minister of State. She gets these answers to read out. What we have just heard here blows my mind. The Government set up this national procurement system to save money. What result did we get? We got chaos, inefficiency, non-delivery and massive costs for the HSE in trying to undo the mess it created because the system was working perfectly until this tendering process was introduced. If the Government has made any savings by doing it on a national basis rather than continuing the old local tendering we used to have, the HSE has had to employ even more staff to monitor and try to get this right. As the saying goes, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. What we seem hell-bent on doing in this country is breaking everything and creating a central inefficient supply chain that does not work in the name of some savings that never materialise. In addition, we are taking jobs off smaller suppliers and thereby eliminating real competition - not just competition based on price. It is not just about competition on the visible price but competition on the real price of people getting what they need on time and in time.
As the final insult, and I accept the Minister of State was given her speech, her speech states that "in the mean time, service users should let their local public health nursing service or health centre know if they are experiencing difficulties with supply of products." We are talking about the families of service users, who are already hugely burdened with problems, having to put right what they should not have to put right. Another burden is being put on people. Is humanity gone from this country in the name of some god of procurement or are we going to put people first?