The Government must "immediately secure" a domestic production line for Personnnel Protective Equipment for frontline healthcare workers.
This is the view of Sinn Féin Galway West TD, Mairead Farrell, who was speaking following a delivery of PPE, costing c€4 million, from Chine to Ireland, 20 per cent of which was found to be unsuitable for healthcare workers here as it did not meet specified requirements.
According to the Chinese Embassy, Chinese suppliers are now understood to be working with the HSE to ensure the unsatisfactory consignment sent to Ireland last week will be replaced.
'We owe frontline workers a debt of gratitute. We owe them the right to a sufficient supply of top quality personnel protective equipment'
“The need for a domestic Irish production line of PPE has become increasingly obvious," she said, "particularly in light of recent difficulties in procuring equipment on the international market."
Dep Farrell said Ireland already has "some of the foremost manufacturing companies in the world" located here, as well as a "fantastic and ingenuitive domestic" medical companies, and she urged the Government to explore what can be done in this regard. "I am sure there are manufacturing companies out there who could re-focus their production to deliver PPE," she said.
She said securing PPE which meets HSE standards was vital for frontline workers. "We owe them a debt of gratitute," she said. "We owe them the right to a sufficient supply of top quality personnel protective equipment so that they can do their jobs in as safe an environment as possible. We cannot continue to be hostages to fortune and rely on imports from other countries."