July 21, 2024 | 1:03

Bilbao

Community of Madrid de Ayuso bought masks twice as much as the Ministry of Health

Jesus Carames

April 22, 2024 | 8:30 p.m.

In a recent appearance in the Congress of Deputies, Salvador Illa, former Minister of Health and current first secretary of the PSC, has exposed notable differences in the costs of acquiring medical supplies during the pandemic between the Ministry of Health and the Community of Madrid, led by Isabel Díaz Ayuso. This revelation highlights the variations in the management of essential resources at a critical time for the country.

During the session at the investigative commission on emergency contracts, Illa presented detailed comparative data on the prices paid for surgical masks, FFP2 masks and nitrile gloves. According to the former minister, the Ministry of Health acquired surgical masks at 0,42 euros per unit, significantly less than the 0,82 euros paid on average by the Community of Madrid. This pattern was repeated in other supplies, with the Community paying more than double for nitrile gloves compared to the ministerial price.

The discrepancy in prices not only suggests differences in the effectiveness of purchasing policies between the central government and the Community of Madrid, but also raises questions about the optimization of public resources in times of crisis. Illa emphasized that his intention is not to reproach, but to reflect a situation that requires collective self-assessment, especially considering the unprecedented challenges imposed by the global pandemic.

The purchase of respirators was also a point of contention, with accusations crossed over the cost and management of the acquisitions. While the PP spokesperson highlighted that the Community of Madrid obtained lower prices for respirators compared to those paid by the Ministry, Illa refuted the allegations of excessive commissions and defended the transparency of his efforts.

Illa also took the opportunity to remember that the autonomous communities had autonomy to make their purchases of medical supplies., supported by a special central government fund of 1.000 billion euros intended to cover these critical expenses. Of these, 300 million were distributed directly to the communities to facilitate their acquisitions.

The session in Congress was also the scene of political tensions, with exchanges between Illa and representatives of other parties about the preparation and relevance of the responses provided. The former minister stressed his seriousness and preparation for the appearance, focusing on the importance of responsibility and precision in the health crisis, beyond ideological differences.

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