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Source: Taxpayers Union

David Clark could not even be bothered to reply to PPE offer in a pandemic
The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union is appalled that the Ministry of Health, at the height of the COVID-19 outbreak, did not even respond to a Nelson medical supply company who offered to make high quality Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for health staff and first responders.Union spokesperson Louis Houlbrooke says: “What could possibly be more important for the Ministry of Health than sourcing protective equipment for frontline health workers during a pandemic?”“This is a monumental failure. The Richmond-based company, Medical Devices and Testing, contacted Hon Dr Nick Smith and Hon Dr David Clark offering to produce gowns, surgical masks, gloves, hats, overshoes, and face shields.”“Dr Smith did the right thing, writing a commendation of the proposal to the then Minister of Health Dr Clark. Dr Clark did… nothing. He did not respond to the company, he did not respond to Dr Smith, he did not follow up with the Ministry, and even today he refuses to comment. The Ministry of Health declines to name the companies they did buy PPE from citing commercial confidentiality but says their procurement team ‘was too busy’ to even respond to offers of PPE from local companies.”“That is simply not good enough. It is absolutely the Ministry of Health’s core role. Yet in the biggest health crisis in a generation they did not know how much PPE we had and would not even call back companies offering high-quality local products. The nominal Health Minister, David Clark, was again nowhere to be found. Probably on an urgent bike ride in Dunedin…”