Where Did All The Money Go? Ireland’s Ventilator Fiasco Reveals a Shocking Level of Incompetence in Public Spending
It’s not just Ireland either, a similar pattern of reckless spending has emerged from the UK, the US, and Canada.
It’s a shambles, no matter which direction you view it from. First up, why was the HSE in such a rush to buy up as many ventilators as possible from March to April 2020? RTÉ News reports on the Public Accounts Committee hearing held this week:
The HSE stopped ordering ventilators on 20 April 2020.
Mr. McCarthy (Comptroller and Auditor General) told the committee today on its resumed hearing into the controversy, that over a four-week period spanning March and April 2020, the HSE placed orders for a total of almost 3,500 ventilators at an agreed cost of €129 million.
He said this was almost twice the number of devices that the HSE had been sanctioned to purchase and was over ten times the number of additional ventilators that could be clinically used.
So the Health Service Executive orders double the amount of ventilators it was supposed to purchase, and most were not fit for purpose. It ponies up €81 million in advance to new suppliers that ‘had little or no experience in the supply of the devices’. It then ‘donates’ €6 million worth of dodgy machines to India which are now lumped with 365 ventilators they didn’t ask for and hopefully have the good sense to dump. What is this mess? Can it get worse? Incredibly, it gets worse. The report continues:
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He (Seamus McCarthy, Comptroller and Auditor General) told the committee that subsequently, the HSE cancelled many of the orders that had been placed and received refunds of €50.5m.
“No benefit or value has been received by the HSE for expenditure totalling €30.5 million,” he said.
“At the time of reporting, the HSE was continuing to pursue refunds of €22.3 million and regarded €8.1 million as unrecoverable,” he added.
Surely it can’t get worse than this festering heap of incompetence? And yet, somehow, it does.
The HSE has more than 100 ventilators bought from new suppliers during the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic, which are in storage and not suitable for clinical use, the committee heard.
Well, at least they’re being kept away from unsuspecting patients who don’t yet understand how deadly these machines are when used incorrectly as covered in previous Substack articles, especially when combined with midazolam, remdesivir, and morphine. There’s always a silver lining but the scale of the ineptitude exposes a horrifying vista of malpractice and misconduct. Just when you think it couldn’t get any worse. It gets worse. The RTÉ News report finishes with this defecation of a line:
The C&AG said previously the HSE had write-offs of stocks of PPE and hand gel totalling almost €483m, due to unsuitability of purchased items, obsolescence or price fluctuations.
Hold on a minute – €483 million worth of useless hand gel and PPE gear? Who benefitted here? Something has gone seriously amiss. We know Covid was a gravy train for the corrupt and the venal but this is taking the mickey, pushing paddywhackery to absurd levels. Surely somebody needs to be doing time for this degree of chicanery. There are people up in court for not paying their TV licenses every day of the week. Margaret Buttimer went to jail for grocery shopping without a mask. Andy Heasman was locked up for wearing a mask on his head on a bus. Teacher Enoch Burke was slammed up in the Joy for daring to challenge the transgender agenda.
But this incompetence gets a bottom paragraph in a buried news report. Something is very wrong here. At the very least, the head of the HSE Bernard Gloster must step down immediately. What are we waiting for? Why hasn’t he resigned yet?
Strangely enough, it’s not just Ireland that has this farcical story about ventilators.
Donald Trump’s administration overpaid by up to $500 million on ventilators according to a Democrats report from July 31, 2020.
In a follow-up story, The Washington Post reported on January 29, 2021:
The Trump administration spent $200 million to send more than 8,700 ventilators to countries around the world last year, with no clear criteria for determining who should get them and no way to keep track of where many ended up, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office.
How about this one from The Guardian from September 30, 2020 on the UK situation?:
The government spent £569m buying 20,900 ventilators to keep people alive during the Covid-19 pandemic but lack of demand means NHS hospitals have used just a few of them.
All but 2,150 of the machines it bought are still being held in a Ministry of Defence warehouse in case they are needed in the coming second wave of the disease.
What’s going on here? How could they all be so incompetent? Is there more to the story than meets the eye?
The Canadian government also got it all wrong on its ventilator count. How could this be? This Politico report from June 16, 2022:
More than half of the 40,000 ventilators the Canadian government ordered early in the pandemic are now sitting unused in the federal emergency stockpile.
Just over 2,000 of the ventilators have been deployed, either in Canada or abroad. Ottawa is now working to cancel orders for ventilators that have yet to be delivered, but won’t say how much it has paid for the machines.
Something is not adding up here. They can’t all be so stupid. Unless it was part of the coordinated global plot to shuffle money about this way and that. Why did they suddenly no longer require all the ventilators? Was the death rate too high to continue? We’re left with more questions than answers. One thing is clear, the magnitude of incompetence is off the charts. Once again no one seems to be accountable. All we get are stony-faced bureaucrats pushing paper around awkwardly and mumbling into microphones. It’s not good enough. If anything worthwhile can come from this, it’s the knowledge that ventilators are dangerous and kill when used improperly as Dr. Mike Yeadon correctly pointed out in a previous article.
As a society, we must hold those in public office to the highest standards or pay the price for letting them off the hook easily. The ventilator debacle is a telling tale of a country in the grip of a reckless and inept government that is squandering public money and putting the lives of its people in harm’s way. Follow the money. We’re trying but it’s leading us here, there, and everywhere. Too many questionable types got rich quick off the suffering of the nation and the money trail led to a quagmire of dodgy business deals, not just in Ireland but across the world.
Originally published on the author’s Substack
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