October 27, 2020
David Cullinane TD to raise ViraPro concerns with Health Committee

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health, David Cullinane TD, will be raising the ViraPro issue with the Health Committee tomorrow.

Teachta Cullinane will be requesting that the Committee seek answers from the HSE on how this occurred, what procurement practices and quality assurance processes were followed, and what action will be taken to protect the taxpayer and recoup the costs of the defective products.

Teachta Cullinane said: 

“This is serious matter, with reports of this product causing illness – from skin rashes to headaches and nausea – in many. 

“It is unacceptable to think that children, nurses, teachers, and others were given toxic and unsafe hand sanitizer because of a failure in procurement or quality assurance processes. 

“I have heard a number of times over the last decade how poor the health service procurement process is. We saw this on display again recently in PAC. 

“The Health Service shouldn’t be relying on other departments for procurement approval and quality assurance. It has its own processes and should be capable of ensuring the product it is ordering meets the necessary safety criteria.  

“This problem has been known since the 25th of September. Why did the HSE only learn of it on Thursday, why were they not alerted earlier and resourced to conduct their own tests? Health procurement shouldn’t be reliant on the Department of Agriculture. 

“The Health Service can only do so much and ultimately the responsibility lies with successive governments which have failed to invest adequately in health procurement. 

“I will be requesting that the Health Committee receive a full explanation of events from the HSE and what steps need to be taken to rectify the cause of the issue.”

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