Layla Moran has urged the government to urgently join an EU scheme that will enable countries to bulk buy vital medical equipment like ventilators and protective masks to cope with the coronavirus pandemic.
It was reported today that the UK government has so far refused an offer from the EU to take part in the scheme, despite the NHS facing shortages of ventilators and protective equipment for staff. The NHS currently has around 5,000 ventilators and is estimated to need another 20,000 to cope with rising demand from the worsening coronavirus outbreak.
The scheme could also be used to enable the UK to jointly purchase supplies of vaccines and antiviral drugs used to treat coronavirus, if and when they become available.
Layla Moran has written to Health Secretary Matt Hancock urging the government to take part in the scheme, warning it would be "deeply irresponsible" not to.
Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran said:
"At a time when the NHS is facing chronic shortages of ventilators and other vital medical equipment, it is deeply concerning that the Government has reportedly refused to take part in the EU joint procurement scheme.
"We will only beat the threat posed by COVID-19 by working together with our friends and partners in Europe and around the world.
"Ministers must put pragmatism above ideological considerations and urgently opt in to the EU joint procurement scheme, so that we can secure the vital equipment NHS workers and those suffering from COVID-19 so desperately need."