'Ventilators procured without agreements during pandemic'

KUALA LUMPUR: Ventilators were procured from suppliers during the Covid-19 pandemic without any agreements with the government.

Deputy Health Minister Lukanisman Awang Sauni said suppliers provided ventilators that did not meet specifications that the Health Ministry requested.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the government procured 300 ventilators for replacement and 500 more for use as part of an emergency procurement.

"According to the Treasury circular for Emergency Spending Guidelines, the Health Ministry does not need to prepare agreement documents for emergency procurements.

"This could be why suppliers took advantage by supplying ventilators that did not meet the specifications requested by the ministry," he told the Dewan Rakyat today during the winding up speech on the 2021 Auditor General's Report.

He said ventilator prices increased up to four times on a "take it or leave it" basis.

To learn from this experience, Lukanisman said the government must ensure there were proper procurement procedures and agreements with suppliers even during emergencies.

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