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MoH refuses ordered ambulances as they do not meet the specifications

Ministry holding people responsible for this transaction

KUWAIT CITY, Aug 26: The Ministry of Health has announced that it has refused to received the ambulances which it had ordered because they do not meet the specifications, reports Al- Rai daily. The ministry is now holding some people responsible for this citing suspicious transaction that may have led to loss of public money.

Meanwhile, the Al-Jarida daily revealed two days ago that a suspicious deal was struck by the Ministry of Health related to contract for the supply of dozens of ambulances which are do not meet the specifications and as such have been pressed into service for years, in spite of the fact these ambulances are parked in the ministry’s warehouse.

A knowledgeable source familiar with the issue said the deal was made by direct order of the former Minister of Health Dr Jamal Al-Harbi on April 24, 2017 and is believed to be worth 3.720 million dinars for the supply of 79 ambulances.

The source praised the followup by the media and for highlighting the flaws in the Ministry of Health, which contributes to fight against corruption and achieve desired reforms.

The source has called for opening an investigation into the incident and hold responsible officials accountable for wasting public money because the delay in delivery hampers plans to develop the health services in all areas.

The source confirmed the Ministry of Health has not officially received the ambulances, and this explains why the vehicles are parked in the ministry’s warehouses which falls under the Department of Transport at the request of the supplier company for lack of storage area.

The Ministry is said to have agreed to maintain them against damage until the supplier fulfills all specifications mentioned in the provisions of the contract, in line with the recommendations made by the concerned committee which has run a check on the ambulances.

The source pointed out former minister Dr Al-Harbi was keen to complete the deal by direct order, and personally has overseen this file since he was the Assistant Undersecretary of the Medical Support Services for nursing and medical emergencies before becoming minister. MP Riyadh Al-Adasani said he will raise a parliamentary query on the new ambulances.

He pointed out, he has submitted many queries concerning the health sector and its projects which need to be followed. On the other hand, the daily added, a statement released yesterday by the Ministry of Health said it did not officially receive any ambulance from the contractor and this raises many eyebrows.

If the ministry did not receive, as stated by Director of the Medical Emergencies Department Munther Al-Jalahmeh, how are these ambulances kept at the Ministry’s warehouse in Sabhan before the official delivery? And who is responsible for them while they lie under the custody of the ministry? This is in addition to the fact that they carry numbers plates issued by the General Traffic Department which means they are licensed bythe Ministry of Interior.

“It is strange that the Health Ministry did not comment on what was reported in the newspaper that the tender for ambulances has been referred to the Anti-Corruption Authority, and this is another reason why these vehicles have not been pressed into service until the end of the investigation.

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