Medical Equipment Tender Cancelled Twice

THE Ministry of Health and Social Services is yet to award a tender for the provision of 23 high-tech medical devices, which has been pending since 2012. ‘

The devices include life-saving equipment, such as resuscitators used to inflate pressure in the lungs of an unconscious person.

Also on the list of the cancelled tender are oxygen head boxes used for administering oxygen or aerosolised medication over the head of a child, and headlamps used for giving medical practitioners a better view during surgery.

There were also blood pressure measuring devices used to monitor blood pressure, stethoscopes, diagnostic otoscope sets used for diagnosing purposes, among a list of other equipment.

According to a source, bids are still to be announced for seven applicants, including ATA International Trading Namibia, BioDynamics, Genmed, Placita, Ruton Investments and Medical Supplies, SJV Medical Supplies and Supremo Medical Supplies. The tender was allegedly cancelled after 14 months on 5 December 2013.

The ministry’s spokesperson, Ester Paulus, did not respond to questions forwarded to her regarding the supply of the equipment.

However, spokesperson for the Tender Board of Namibia Leonie du Toit told The Namibian that the tender was cancelled because of omissions of maintenance provisions.

She also explained that 90% of the items tendered for were less than N$10 000 and therefore not cost-effective to go out on tender.

“Some items which were classified as low-tech equipment, are either components or devices,” she said.

Sources indicated that after the cancellation, the tender was again aertised earlier this year.

Sales person at SJV Medical Supplies Mervin Kauvee, one of the tenderers, said that calls for contractors were re-aertised this year, but they were still awaiting a response from the Tender Board.

“We have been waiting for months now. Hopefully, we will hear from the Tender Board soon,” he said. However, a source said that the tender was cancelled again on 17 April 2014.

The chief engineer of the medical equipment management sub-division, Belinda Wolbling, said that they are currently having the items in stock.

“The tender was just procured in order to stock-up the existing supply. However, such delays might have a negative effect on our stock in the long run, but we have re-aertised the tender again,” she said.

Senior superintendent at the Windhoek Central Hospital Sara Shalongo denied that there was an under-supply of these equipment and said her hospital had an abundant supply of the equipment in question.

She also said the life-span of the equipment is 10 to 15 years but could not provide details of whether the ones currently being used at the hospital need to be replaced, prompting the need for the tender.

Source : The Namibian