PAC says satisfied after MOH received over RM16m in refund for inoperable ventilators bought during Covid-19 pandemic

March 25, 2024 By 0

KUALA LUMPUR, March 25 — The Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said today it is satisfied that the Ministry of Health (MOH) has successfully obtained a refund of over RM16 million for non-functional ventilators procured during the Covid-19 pandemic.

PAC chairman Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin said the reimbursement amounted to RM16,785,910.95 for the 104 faulty ventilator units which were purchased during Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba’s tenure as health minister in 2020.

“MOH’s action is in line with the 3rd proposal of PAC Report DR.11/2023, which states that MOH needs to promptly review the warranty status of all 136 ventilator units and ensure appropriate action is taken against the responsible parties.

“Therefore, PAC recommends that the funds be utilised and supplemented by the Ministry of Finance to ensure the availability of ventilator equipment in all government hospitals,” she said in a statement here.

She also said that MOH had also taken PAC recommendations and made various moves to ensure surplus stock of boot covers and protective jumpsuits or coveralls are fully utilised.

“PAC wants MOH to ensure optimal stock levels of boot covers and protective jumpsuits or coveralls for preparedness during outbreaks or pandemics,” she said.

Mas Ermieyati said the PAC presented its report on MOH’s follow-up responses to its previous report in October 2023 on Covid-19 management including its management of expired vaccines and excess of personal protective equipment (PPE).

“In each follow-up action on the PAC report recommendations, this committee also provides feedback on the respective follow-up actions.

“PAC held follow-up action proceedings with MOH on March 7, and the witnesses present were the deputy treasury secretary-general (Management) of MoF, Ramzi Mansor; deputy secretary-general (Finance) of MOH, Datuk Seri Norazman Ayob, and deputy director-general of Health (Public Health), Datuk Dr Norhayati Rusli,” she said.

In February last year, Series 2 of the Auditor-General (A-G) report for 2021 revealed that 93 out of 136 ventilator units supplied by a company to MOH facilities between 2020 and April 2022 could not be used during the Covid-19 pandemic, with the loss estimated at RM13.07 million.

The report also stated a significant excess of personal protective equipment (PPE) with a usage ratio of between 2.2 per cent and 3.1 per cent respectively involving shoe covers and PPE suits.

The PAC then in October said that no parties could be held accountable for 104 unusable ventilators out of the 136 procured for Covid-19 patients due to an absence of a written agreement between the Health Ministry and supplier Pharmaniaga Logistic Sdn Bhd (PLSB).

According to the PAC report, no contract was drawn up between the Health Ministry and PLSB regarding the procurement of ventilators and the ministry’s legal adviser was not consulted during the process of preparing the PLSB appointment letter.

The PAC said it found that the problem with all the ventilators is that the plugs of the ventilators received — Type A — were different from the electrical outlets used in Malaysia, which is Type G.