Those raising procurement price of medical supplies for pandemic prevention should be handled strictly

VCN- Answering an interview fromCustoms News, Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Truong Son said the Ministry of Health will strictly handle units raising the procurement price of medical supplies for Covid-19 pandemic prevention.
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those raising procurement price of medical supplies for pandemic prevention should be handled strictly
Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Truong Son

From the case of some officers of the Ha Noi Centre for Disease Control (Hanoi CDC) that have been prosecuted for raising theprocurement price of the Covid-19 test machine, are there any loopholes related to theprocurement of medical supplies, Sir?

If the procurement of medical supplies of a local area is not a part of the national centralised bidding, it will be implemented by the provincial and municipal People's Committees. When localities implement procurement as their demand, the Ministry of Health only gives recommendations and instructions for localities to comply with regulations.

When implementing procurement of test machines for Covid-19 pandemic prevention, localities are responsible for themselves and implementing the procurement based on actual demand. However, this procurement needs to be published online and localities must reference the price purchased by other localities on the published bidding website. The price should not exceed the average price. Although bidding is designated, the price reference is required.

Whether or not there is a loophole in procurement of medical supplies, I think each locality will be responsible (if any). For example, the case of Hanoi CDC has showed there are shortcomings in the procurement of medical supplies when it did not directly implement procurement with the importer but it implemented though intermediaries who increased the price. In addition, some units implemented the procurement of medical supplies but have not referred the market price of other units, leading to alack of objectivity and inconsistency with the reality.

Recently, the Ministry of Health issued two dispatches to request localities to report on the procurement of medical supplies. Currently, through localities’ reports, do you realise any shortcomings? Is there the issue of inflated prices reflected by public opinion?

Currently, 18 provinces and cities that implemented the procurement of test machines for Covid-19 have reported to the Ministry of Health. Regarding the information on the issue of inflated prices, I think this is not an objective assessment because the price depends on many factors such as brand, type of machines, utility and structure.

Among 18 provinces and cities that purchased test machines, Quang Nam, QuangNinh and Hanoi have bought fully automatic machine systems, other provinces have bought separately with different prices.

What is the view of the Ministry of Health when units arbitrarily increase the price of test machines?

The Ministry of Health always tell sunits that they should economically and appropriately procure during the pandemic, and must refer price in the market and price of winning bidders and import prices in the customs declaration. The Ministry of Health issued a written notice requesting units to be careful in the procurement during the pandemic because prices will increase sharply.

In addition, the Ministry of Health always monitors procurement, especially for the ministry’s subordinate units and some localities. Because the entire political system and people have participated in the pandemic prevention. We have tried to control the pandemic as soon as possible. Therefore, the Ministry of Health will strictly handle issues related to illegal procurement and prevent bad influences on the anti-pandemic work by the health sector and the Vietnamese people.

Not only had the Ministry of Health closely following this issue, but Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc directed handling of violations in the use of the Covid-19 pandemic prevention fund. The Prime Minister requested the Ministry of Health and the People's Committees of the provinces and centrally run cities to urgently review, rectify, re-evaluate and inspect implementation of bid packages for the procurement of medical supplies and consumable supplies and, medicines for the prevention of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Prime Minister also requested that if there have signs of violations in the bid packages on procurement of systems of biochemical testing machines, ventilators, medical masks, consumable chemicals and supplies, dossiers and documents of these packages must be transferred to investigating agencies for strict handling according to law provisions.

By Duong Ngan/Ngoc Loan

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