KUALA LUMPUR: An MP has questioned why six states were charged more than the federal government had spent for the same quantity of vaccine doses during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Yeo Bee Yin (PH-Puchong) also spoke of possible profiteering.
She said the health ministry’s white paper had confirmed that pharmaceuticals supplier Pharmaniaga had charged six states more in vaccine procurements than it did to Putrajaya.
The governments of Selangor, Perak, Pahang, Johor, Sabah and Negeri Sembilan each spent more than Putrajaya to procure 1.16 million vaccine doses from Pharmaniaga, she said during the debate on the health white paper.
“Is this true? Why did Pharmaniaga commit profiteering in selling vaccines to state governments,” she said.
Yeo had raised a similar issue in the Dewan Rakyat in 2021 when she was the MP for Bakri. She had asked the minister in charge of the immunisation programme, Khairy Jamaluddin, to verify if these six states booked six million doses of Covid-19 vaccines from the pharmaceutical company for a much higher price than purchases made by Putrajaya.
Yeo also said that while the white paper showed that the health ministry was allocated RM4.65 billion in stages for vaccine procurement and logistical services for the programme, it did not provide a detailed breakdown of the expenses on vaccine procurements, equipment, rent of premises and other costs.
“Of course, the ministry will say that there is an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) on vaccine procurement (and therefore) it cannot disclose the cost for each type of vaccine.
“However, we can disclose the total cost for the vaccine portfolio that we procure,” she added.
She also called upon the ministry to reveal the cost of nearly 8.5 million vaccine doses that have expired.
“We know that these expired vaccines was ‘money down the drain’ but this was something we needed at the time. We need to know the value. This is not a secret. We can reveal it and the public deserves to know,” she said.
Yeo also called upon the health ministry to provide details on the costs to rent and set up every mega vaccine delivery centre nationwide, as well as the list of companies that were awarded contracts by ProtectHealth for vaccine administration at the centres, along with the contract values for each service provider.