Beli ventilator rosak: Ambil tindakan tegas! (Malay/English)

HEBI B/PIXABAY

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[ENGLISH VERSION BELOW] Persatuan Pengguna Pulau Pinang (CAP) menggesa pihak berkuasa supaya mengambil tindakan tegas terhadap pihak yang bertanggungjawab membeli ventilator rosak* yang diperoleh Kementerian Kesihatan semasa pandemik Covid.

Semasa kemuncak pandemik Covid pada 2020, kabinet dimaklumkan mengenai keperluan bagi 800 ventilator, berikutan itu Kementerian Kesihatan telah meluluskan RM30 juta kepada sebuah syarikat untuk membeli 500 unit ventilator.

Disebabkan kekangan bekalan, syarikat itu berjaya memperoleh hanya 136 unit ventilator pada harga RM20 juta, harga yang dilaporkan empat kali lebih tinggi daripada kadar biasa. Bagaimanapun didapati 104 daripada 136 ventilator yang dibeli tidak boleh digunakan.

Pada awal bulan ini dilaporkan oleh Jawatankuasa Kira-kira Wang Negara (PAC) bahawa tiada tindakan boleh diambil ke atas isu itu kerana ketiadaan perjanjian bertulis antara Kementerian Kesihatan dan syarikat terbabit.

PAC gagal dalam tugasnya untuk mendedahkan mereka yang bertanggungjawab bagi pembelian ventilator yang tidak boleh digunakan. Alasannya bahawa tiada kontrak bertulis rasmi adalah tidak boleh diterima.

Mestilah terdapat bukti dokumentari dan lisan mengenai proses yang membawa kepada pembelian ventilator yang rosak yang akan mendedahkan jika terdapat sebarang kecuaian yang teruk, atau bahkan rasuah, di pihak mereka yang terlibat dalam membuat keputusan.

PAC sepatutnya mengesyorkan agar agensi penguatkuasaan undang-undang menyiasat kes itu dan mengambil tindakan yang perlu terhadap mereka yang bersalah.

Memandangkan peralatan menyelamatkan nyawa seperti ventilator sangat penting semasa pandemik Covid, adalah mengejutkan bahawa kecuaian sedemikian telah berlaku. Ventilator yang rosak itu bukan sahaja membazirkan dana awam tetapi juga membahayakan nyawa pesakit.

Laporan PAC mengatakan bahawa budaya akauntabiliti hampir tidak wujud dalam sistem perolehan awam di mana 104 daripada 136 ventilator yang ditempah tidak dapat digunakan. Urus niaga mengenai perolehan kecemasan ventilator dilakukan melalui WhatsApp.

Walaupun dalam menghadapi pandemik, pengesahan perolehan rasmi perlu melalui kontrak pembekalan yang betul dengan spesifikasi produk yang jelas, jaminan, kewajipan pembekal terhadap ujian dan pentauliahan, penghantaran dan sokongan teknikal. Perolehan perlu mengikut prosedur operasi standard yang ditetapkan oleh pihak kementerian.

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Walaupun tidak mempunyai pengalaman dan kepakaran dalam perolehan peralatan perubatan, syarikat itu diarah membuat bayaran pendahuluan bagi ventilator berikutan hubungan sedia ada dengan Kementerian Kesihatan. Perjanjian itu diperoleh berdasarkan gambaran visual bahawa ventilator dalam risalah itu memenuhi keperluan Kementerian Kesihatan.

Menurut laporan PAC, ventilator itu tidak boleh digunakan kerana titik palam berbeza daripada titik palam yang digunakan di Malaysia. Bagaimanapun, setiap ventilator mempunyai masalah yang berbeza dari segi perkakasan, aksesori dan perisian. Perolehan itu melibatkan 11 model ventilator daripada empat pengeluar berbeza.

Sungguh mengejutkan apabila Kementerian Kesihatan telah melantik syarikat itu menjadi orang tengah untuk membekalkan 136 ventilator berharga RM24 juta tanpa kontrak yang sewajarnya. Apa yang berlaku kepada unit integriti dan pematuhan dalam Kementerian Kesihatan, yang diperlukan untuk mengawasi semua pembelian, apabila prosedur yang ditetapkan tidak dipatuhi dalam pembelian ventilator.

CAP percaya bahawa lebih banyak perkara perlu dilakukan untuk menuntut akauntabiliti daripada mereka yang bertanggungjawab terhadap kecuaian dalam tugas mereka.

Pihak berbeza yang bertanggungjawab atas “kecuaian yang jelas” dalam skandal ventilator yang didedahkan oleh laporan ketua audit negara mestilah dikenal pasti dan dihukum.

Mohideen Abdul Kader ialah presiden Persatuan Pengguna Pulau Pinang (CAP)

*Ventilator perubatan ialah mesin yang membantu paru-paru untuk mendapatkan keperluan oksigennya. Ia adalah mesin penyelamat nyawa dalam keadaan yang menyukarkan seseorang untuk bernafas dengan betul seperti dalam kes pesakit Covid.

English version

Take action against those responsible for buying defective ventilators

The Consumers Association of Penang calls on the authorities to take action against those responsible for purchasing defective ventilators* procured by the Ministry of Health (MoH) during the Covid pandemic.

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During the peak of the pandemic in 2020, the cabinet was informed of the need for 800 ventilators, following which the MoH had approved RM30m to a company to purchase 500 ventilators.

Due to supply constraints, the company managed to secure only 136 ventilators for RM20m, a price reported to be four times higher than the usual rate. However, it was found that 104 out of the 136 ventilators purchased were unusable.

Earlier this month, it was reported by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that no action could be taken over the issue as there was an absence of a written agreement between the MoH and the company involved.

The PAC has failed in its duty to uncover those accountable for the purchase of the unusable ventilators. The reason that there was no formal written contract is unacceptable.

There would be documentary and oral evidence of the process leading to the purchase of the faulty ventilators – which would disclose if there was any gross negligence or even corruption on the part of those involved in the decision-making.

The PAC should have recommended that law enforcement agencies investigate the case and take the necessary action against those culpable.

As life-saving equipment like ventilators were so vital during the Covid pandemic, it is shocking that such negligence had occurred. The faulty ventilators not only wasted public funds but also put the lives of patients at risk.

The PAC report said that the culture of accountability is almost non-existent in the public procurement system, where 104 out of the 136 ventilators ordered were unusable. The deals the on emergency procurement of ventilators were done via WhatsApp.

Even in the face of a pandemic, the official procurement confirmation should come through a proper supply contract with clear specifications of the product, the warranties, suppliers’ obligations on the testing and commissioning, deliverables and technical support. The procurement must follow the set standard operating procedure of the ministry.

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Despite not having experience and expertise in medical equipment procurement, the company was instructed to make advance payments for ventilators following its existing relationship with MoH. The deal was secured based on the visual impression that the ventilators in the brochure met MoH requirements

According to the PAC report, the ventilators were unusable as the plug point differed from the plug point used in Malaysia. However, each ventilator had different problems in terms of hardware, accessories and software. The procurement involved 11 ventilator models from four different manufacturers.

It is shocking that the MoH had appointed the company to be a middleman to supply 136 ventilators costing RM24m without a proper contract. What happened to the integrity and compliance unit within the MoH, which is required to oversee all purchases, when established procedures were not complied with in the purchase of the ventilators?

CAP believes that more should be done to demand accountability from those responsible for their dereliction of duty.

The different parties who are responsible for the “clear negligence” in the ventilator scandal exposed by the auditor general’s report must be identified and punished.

Mohideen Abdul Kader is president of the Consumers Association of Penang (CAP)

*A medical ventilator is a machine that helps the lungs get its oxygen needs. It is a life-saving machine when the patient is in a condition that makes it hard for one to breathe properly, such as in the case of a Covid patient.

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.
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