In a shocking revelation, it has come to light that $775.8 million in public money has been wasted on the state’s Covid inventory.
‘In total, $775.8 million worth of Covid-19 inventory, including personal protective equipment, was either written off or “impaired” — a financial term meaning authorities expected that they wouldn’t use the equipment before it expired,’ writes James O’Doherty in the Daily Telegraph.
The wasted equipment purchased for the Covid pandemic was thrown away because it had expired, was found to be faulty, or failed to meet minimum standards.
Why was it bought, and who in the government is responsible for overseeing such a disgraceful waste of public money at a time when most people in the state have seen their lives and businesses ruined?
Included in the figure discovered during a financial audit of NSW Health, $158.8 million was spent on discarded face masks alone after they failed guidelines set out by the TGA.
Three-quarters of a billion-dollar have been wasted, and none of it is expected to be recouped from the businesses that sold NSW faulty or substandard equipment.
"NSW Health was the nominated agency to store all the government agencies’ PPE requirements. Where there is potential surplus PPE to current requirements, NSW Health is exploring alternative uses and management of the stock,” said a statement released by NSW Health. According to NSW Health, PPE procurement was centralised in 2020.
While purchasing bad or faulty stock is purely a failure of those responsible for the purchase, the extraordinary amount of equipment reaching its expiration date before use appears to be related to poor stocktaking practices by NSW Health that failed to cycle product effectively.
According to the audit, half of the 2020-21 Covid inventory was thrown out.
The waste of public money is particularly hypocritical after state health representatives used the public cost of intensive care as a reason to punish unvaccinated people in other health orders and policies. NSW Minister for Health Brad Hazzard threatened to make unvaccinated people pay for their own medical expenses if they ended up in hospital in a move that was heavily criticised by everyone, including the AMA.
“Whether it is fair that unvaccinated people occupy intensive care beds at a very substantial cost to taxpayers, putting the lives of health staff at risk.”
It is fair for the NSW public to turn around and ask the Minister if it is fair that three-quarters of a billion dollars were wasted...