Protective Gear Against COVID-19: Quebec Lost Nearly $1 Billion | Coronavirus

The first sighting of the VG about the purchase ofEAR is that Quebec’s health emergency plan hasn’t been updated in too long. In fact, the most recent, the Quebec Pandemic Influenza Plan MSSSand the regional plans were more than ten years old.

And even if MSSS le prévoyait, aucune réserve ou autres mesures pour faciliter l’approvisionnement en EPI n’étaient en place”,”text”:”le plan d’urgence du MSSS le prévoyait, aucune réserve ou autres mesures pour faciliter l’approvisionnement en EPI n’étaient en place”}}”>the emergency plan MSSS provided, no reservations or other measures to facilitate the supply EAR were out of place

In addition, Quebec was ill-prepared for the purchase, use and distribution of EAR when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March 2019.

Despite everything, the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSS) acquired more than $3 billion worth of this equipment from January 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021.

Nearly a billion dollars in financial loss

The hasty purchase, due to lack of preparation, of the PPE would have cost Quebec taxpayers nearly a billion dollars.

To cope with the health emergency, the MSSS had to buy personal protective equipment at very high prices during the global shortage of 2020we can read in the report. millions de dollars au 31 mars 2021.”,”text”:”La baisse de la valeur des EPI par la suite a entraîné une perte financière évaluée à 938millions de dollars au 31 mars 2021.”}}”>The subsequent decline in PPE value resulted in a financial loss of $938 million as of March 31, 2021.

In fact, faced with the global shortage ofEARthe instruction of the MSSS was to buy some by all means possible, it is written. In addition to financial losses, this has resulted in: control gaps – especially during the first wave – and a lack of proof of validation of supplier integrity or product conformity

A purchase was prepaid, although the product specifications submitted by the supplier showed inconsistencies.

A quote from Excerpt from the Auditor General’s report

Quebec’s government slept on gas while the others organizedlaunched PQ Member of Parliament Joël Arseneau in the room on Wednesday morning.

Since then we have adapted like almost everywherereplied Prime Minister François Legault. We have started placing orders. We are now much less dependent on foreign countries and we have protective equipment made here.

Prime Minister François Legault in the Blue Room.

Photo: The Canadian Press / Jacques Boissinot

But adequate monitoring and an up-to-date and well-managed health emergency plan by all actors would undoubtedly have allowed the MSSS by respond faster and more effectively once the risk of a pandemic in Quebec increased. For example, he could EPI et faire des achats avant la pénurie et l’augmentation des prix”,”text”:”prévoir l’augmentation des stocks d’EPI et faire des achats avant la pénurie et l’augmentation des prix”}}”>predict the rise in stocks ofEAR and make purchases before shortage and price increase

Poorly trained employees

The lack of preparation also affected employees who had to use EAR

Training of health and social services network personnel in infection prevention and control was insufficient to cope with a pandemicsee the VG

CHSLD et les résidences privées pour aînés (RPA). En effet, en situation normale les EPI utilisés et les règles de prévention et de contrôle des infections y diffèrent beaucoup de ce qui a cours dans les centres hospitaliers.”,”text”:”Cette lacune était particulièrement présente dans les CHSLD et les résidences privées pour aînés (RPA). En effet, en situation normale les EPI utilisés et les règles de prévention et de contrôle des infections y diffèrent beaucoup de ce qui a cours dans les centres hospitaliers.”}}”>This gap was especially present in the CHSLD and private homes for seniors (RPA). Indeed, under normal circumstances the EAR and the rules for infection prevention and control are very different from those used in hospitals.

This protection is especially important for health professionals, who are more exposed to the virus, and for the elderly, who are more severely affected by the disease.

A quote from Excerpt from the report of the Auditor General of Quebec

Otherwise, EPI a nui à une prise de décision éclairée du MSSS quant à l’approvisionnement et à la distribution des EPI.”,”text”:”l’absence d’une information complète, fiable et à jour sur les stocks et la consommation d’EPI a nui à une prise de décision éclairée du MSSS quant à l’approvisionnement et à la distribution des EPI.”}}”>the lack of complete, reliable and up-to-date information on stocks and consumption ofEAR complicates informed decision-making by the MSSS regarding the supply and distribution of EAR

Result: he couldn’t always EPI en fonction des points de service présentant une clientèle plus à risque ou sur le point d’en manquer.”,”text”:”prioriser la distribution des EPI en fonction des points de service présentant une clientèle plus à risque ou sur le point d’en manquer.”}}”>prioritize the distribution of EAR depending on the service points, a clientele runs a greater risk or threatens to run out.

The 3 recommendations of the Auditor General

In light of these findings, the Auditor General makes three recommendations to the MSSS regarding personal protective equipment:

  • Develop and update a contingency plan to deal with potential pandemics, taking into account lessons learned from COVID-19;
  • determining the essential products in a pandemic situation and setting up adequate supply mechanisms;
  • and have complete information to meet the needs in terms of EAR present and future in the event of a pandemic.

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