JAMAICA | Guy wants probe into distribution of fake PPE to health professionals

JAMAICA | Guy wants probe into distribution of fake PPE to health professionals

KINGSTON, Jamaica, September 22, 2021 - The Opposition Spokesman on Health and Wellness, Dr Morais Guy, MP, is calling for an urgent investigation into the procurement and distribution of counterfeit 3M-standard Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) by the Ministry of Health. It is determined that this procurement is not of the requisite standard and are classified as fake PPEs by health care workers and professionals.

In a statement this morning, Dr Guy called for the immediate withdrawal of the substandard PPE to hospitals and other health staff, as 3M has published a counterfeit notice saying it has been receiving reports of fraud related to its respirators (N95 masks). 3M is now working with international law enforcement to get the counterfeit/fake N95 masks removed from the market.

Dr Guy said the Integrity Commission should immediately investigate and identify the source of the fraudulent supply to the Government of Jamaica, as two of the fake batch codes have been recognised among the purchases by the government. He said these fake masks, which are defective, have been issued to hospitals and Operating Theatre staff since last weekend.

The Opposition Spokesman said staff at the Kingston Public Hospital and the Bustamante Hospital for Children were also supplied on Sunday and Monday. They are among health staff who have been given the fake products and are now upset as they have been exposed without proper protection.

“I cannot understand how the procurement system at the Ministry could be so lacking to allow the purchase of essential supplies such as PPE through third-party sources without proper due diligence,” Dr Guy said. 

Therefore, he is calling on the Ministry to immediately tighten up its activities to ensure that staff is fully protected in an environment of scarce or dwindling supplies of specialized gear. He said procurement administration must also ensure no repetition of this episode, especially during the continuous pandemic when many fake sources are in the market to exploit the situation.

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