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RM13 million losses as only 28 of 136 ventilators procured could be used, audit report shows

The remaining 108 units, supplied by a company only referred to as 260790-T, could not be used because they were unsuitable and unsafe for patients.

Bernama
2 minute read
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A health worker in full personal protective equipment tends to a Covid-19 patient at a hospital in Klang, in this July 11 file photo. Photo: Bernama
A health worker in full personal protective equipment tends to a Covid-19 patient at a hospital in Klang, in this July 11 file photo. Photo: Bernama

Only 28 of the 136 ventilators obtained by the health ministry through the emergency procurement procedure could be used, according to the Auditor-General's Report for the Year 2021 Series 2 released yesterday. 

The remaining 108 units, supplied by a company only referred to as 260790-T, could not be used because they were unsuitable and unsafe for patients.

The ministry returned only 15 of them to the manufacturer while compensation amounting to RM13.07 million for the other 93 units could not be claimed because there was no procurement documentation between company 260790-T and the health ministry.
 
"No documents related to ventilator procurement transactions were submitted to the auditors, who were also unable to confirm the role and responsibility of company 260790-T as a company managing the procurement of ventilators and who dealt with the manufacturers," the report said. 

Auditor-General Nik Azman Nik Abdul Majid earlier said findings from the audit report revealed that 93 ventilators at government hospitals were found to be non-functioning and did not meet the required standards.

He said the health ministry in response had also said that the machines could not be modified as they were purchased off the shelf and without warranty, and that attempts by contractors to fix them had been unsuccessful. 

The audit report also stated that the ventilator procurement process was initiated after the Cabinet on March 25, 2020 agreed to give an exception to the health ministry to acquire 500 additional ventilator units from company 260790-T to meet an urgent need for them at the time.

The procurement, estimated at RM50 million, was made through the emergency procurement procedures under Treasury Circular (PB) 3.3 and Treasury Directive 99.

However, based on health ministry procurement records, the company was only able to supply 136 ventilator units at a procurement cost of RM20.1 million, which was later revised to RM24.07 million on Sept 1, 2020.

The report also stated that the health ministry spent a total of RM4.462 billion on the procurement of 75.88 million doses of Comirnaty, AstraZeneca, CoronaVac and Convidecia vaccines up until April 2022.

However, the audit report revealed that of that number, 11.59 million doses were not used and 1.1 million doses expired between one and 212 days.

It said the health ministry had a significant excess in stock of personal protective equipment which caused storage problems and which potentially could not be used due to their expiry dates. 

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