MoH spends RM650m on emergency purchases

pic by TMR FILE

THE Health Ministry (MoH) has bought over RM650 million worth of medical equipment and medicines to date in its battle to contain Covid-19.

The figure accounted for about two-thirds of the RM1 billion allocated to MoH in the Prihatin Rakyat stimulus package.

Deputy Health Minister II Datuk Aaron Agong Dagang said the purchases were made from appointed suppliers in line with emergency procurement procedures.

“For the duration of the pandemic, the ministry can conduct emergency procurements to ensure that the needs of our healthcare workers and hospitals are met immediately.

“The government has appointed 182 supply companies to procure assets during this critical phase. In terms of personal protective equipment (PPE), MoH has successfully provided a three-month stockpile and will continue to give provision where necessary,” he told the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.

He was responding to a question from Datuk Liew Vui Keong (Parti Warisan Sabah-Batu Sapi) who asked about the procurement process during the Covid-19 crisis.

Liew then inquired about the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) investigation into Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba’s alleged link to contracts for healthcare supplies.

The MACC in May investigated contracts worth at least RM30 million to supply Covid-19 test kits, PPE and face masks on allegations of corruption.

Property developer Khazanah Jaya Sdn Bhd, which allegedly had links with Dr Adham’s clinics, was among the companies being investigated.

Aaron said MoH had roped in Khazanah Jaya to supply reagents to be used for Covid-19 labs it acquired from China in May for RM30.5 million.

He said the lab is used at the National Institutes of Health in Setia Alam, which can conduct 5,000 tests daily.

“In terms of payment, 50% have been paid. Another 30% is pending for the installation of several other labs and the remaining will be made according to the procurement procedure,” he added.