Legislators criticised the Government yesterday for failing to invite open tenders for the supply of medical gas to public hospitals. The criticism came after the Hospital Authority in July renewed a five-year contract with Hong Kong Oxygen for it to supply medical gas. At yesterday's Legco health services panel, legislators asked why the contract was renewed without an open tender. Director of Government Supplies Nigel Shipman said there was no point inviting tenders because Hong Kong Oxygen was the only medical gas supplier in the territory. The $140 million contract would help save $24 million over the next five years. However, legislator Mok Ying-fan, of the Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood, said the Government should not have renewed the contract simply because it could save money. Mr Mok said the company had delivered wrongly-labelled medical gas to a hospital in the late 1980s, leading to the death of patient Shirley Boyde. 'The Government should not risk patients' lives just to save money,' Mr Mok said. Mr Shipman said there were new provisions in the renewed contract which would improve standards, including better labelling of gas cylinders.