Michael Collins TD has expressed outrage at HSE’s €81m wasteful spending on faulty ventilators, with only €50.5m recovered, saying that taxpayers left to foot the bill for €30m.
Speaking from Leinster House, the Deputy leader of the Rural Independent Group of TDs, Michael Collins, accused the HSE of reckless use of public funds
“It’s appalling that HSE bosses who recklessly wrote cheques worth over €30 million for unusable ventilators from unknown suppliers remain unaccountable, despite our group calling for over two years on the Minister for Health to show leadership and hold those responsible for the fiasco accountable and scrutinized,” he said.
“It is clear from the recent damning report into this saga by the Comptroller and Auditor General that the Minister has completely failed, acting with passivity and indifference,” he claimed
“It is a shocking disregard for hardworking taxpayers that HSE bosses continue to get away with gross mismanagement and financial recklessness. The government’s failure to hold them accountable demonstrates a shocking disregard for the Irish people and their hard-earned money.”
“With taxpayers left to carry the €30 million bill for botched HSE procurement practices, the Minister appears to look the other way. This is completely unethical and a gross violation of the government’s stewardship of the public finances. We understand from the report that the HSE is now pursuing legal action, having already spent over €500,000 in legal fees, in the Chinese courts to recover a further €22.3 million.”
“This is a classic case of do-as-you-like-as-you-are-accountable-to-no-one, while the government looks the other way. If this occurred in the private sector, those responsible would have lost their jobs, and transparency and accountability would have been forthcoming within a short time. However, as with so many aspects of this government’s management and stewardship of the Irish economy and the public finances, when it comes to the public’s money, they don’t seem to care. Instead, under Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, and the Green Party, gross incompetence, mismanagement, and wasteful spending get rewarded with promotions and appointments to state boards,” he said.
“This is evidenced by the fact that Paul Reid, the HSE CEO when this all played out, has been appointed to be Chair of the Citizens’ Assembly on drug use.”
“While the government and HSE bosses will continue to defend massive financial mismanagement and evade responsibility, unfortunately, it is the public that loses out. The Irish people deserve transparency and accountability from the HSE, and it is time for the government to take immediate action to hold those responsible accountable for their actions.”
“We are again calling on this government to urgently overhaul the HSE, which is clearly not fit for purpose, as it is plagued by unaccountability, gross mismanagement, and wide-scale wasteful spending. The public deserves much better, and it is time for the government to stop sleepwalking and take full responsibility for the actions of the HSE,” concluded Deputy Collins.