The HSE spent €8 million last year on various resources in preparation for Brexit, excluding the cost of “warehousing and stockpiling” medical devices, according to figures released to the Medical Independent (MI).
Separately, €12 million had been spent by last September on the “warehousing and stockpiling” of medical devices in the context of Brexit, stated minutes of a teleconference meeting of the HSE audit and risk committee on 13 September.
A HSE spokesperson told MI: “In addition to the spend on contingency stock the HSE has employed additional environmental health, public analyst, and pharmacy staff as well as funding additional laboratory equipment and warehouse lease and fitout, to assist in Brexit preparations.
“The overall Brexit spend for the HSE in 2019 excluding the spend on additional stock will be about €8 million.”
The September meeting of the HSE audit and risk committee noted that a number of medical devices had been stockpiled with two months’ supply in case of Brexit disruption.
“There are approximately 2.5 million devices on the Irish medical device market,” the Executive’s spokesperson told MI.
“A medical devices criticality assessment group, with colleagues from the Health Products Regulatory Authority, the Department of Health, HSE Procurement, and HSE clinicians, meet fortnightly to review progress on the number of devices at risk due to Brexit. Working together with our suppliers and our clinicians, contingency plans have been put in place.
“Suppliers have put in place a minimum of two months’ buffer stock of those medical devices at risk due to Brexit. In addition, the HSE has ordered contingency stock for retention in our centralised warehouse.”