HSE boss defends multi-million euro outlay on ventilators during pandemic

Bernard Gloster, health service CEO, says forecasting medical equipment needed was ‘an impossible task'

The HSE says it was necessary to “over order” more ventilators. Picture: Getty

HSE chiefs have defended the financial risks taken when purchasing ventilators at the outset of the Covid pandemic, insisting patient safety was their top priority.

Bernard Gloster, chief executive and Stephen Mulvany, chief financial officer, acknowledged normal procurement safeguards were set aside in the scramble to secure the medical equipment as coronavirus swept Europe in early 2020.

They were facing questions from members of the Oireachtas’s Public Accounts committee on the multi-million euro costs incurred ...