The Malta Independent 13 December 2018, Thursday

€6.44m in direct orders handed out by Health Ministry to entities, departments in 2017

Albert Galea Wednesday, 5 December 2018, 10:33 Last update: about 8 days ago

The lion’s share of the direct orders in 2017 pertained to the Central Procurement and Supplies Unit (CPSU), which by itself took advantage of €6.24 million in direct orders.  Mater Dei Hospital meanwhile granted €142,632 in direct orders, the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Directorate granted €46,354, and the Foundation for Medical Services granted a solitary direct order worth €10,808.

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The direct orders vary in size, with the most notable direct orders being three granted by the CPSU totalling around €1 million each.  One direct order for the “supply of other vials” amounted to €980,000, another order pertaining to the “supply of specific vials” racked up a €1.001 million, and an order for “specific film-coated tablets” cost €1.25 million.

Direct orders which were also of a particularly high amount were for the supply of an Electro Motive Drug Administration System and Accessories (€554,400), two separate orders for the supply of powder for concentrate for infusion (€289,050 and €607,305), another order for “other specific tablets” (€313,878), and another order for “specific vials” (€552,500).

The information was brought to light by Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Chris Fearne on Monday in response to a parliamentary question asked by PN MP Jason Azzopardi.

The majority of the direct orders issued by the CPSU – an amount of €5.56 million – were issued in the period between 4 May and 24 May 2017, coinciding with the run up to the general election which was called on 1 May and held on 3 June.

The list that Fearne tabled in Parliament does not indicate to whom the direct orders were granted.

This newsroom sent questions to the Ministry for Health but no replies were sent until we went to print.

Last month, The Malta Independent reported that the National Audit Office had written a report detailed how the CPSU in 2016 had over €1.2 million in expired medicine still in stock, some of which had been expired for over five years and was not marked as such.

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