Gauteng health department launches investigation into price-fixing allegations

Gauteng health department launches investigation into price-fixing allegations

DA Gauteng MP Jack Bloom. Picture: Thembelihle Mkonza/ANA

DA MP Jack Bloom has revealed that some hospitals pay more than 50% of the market price for certain items and equipment.

Following a number of submissions citing real-life examples, DA MP Jack Bloom has come to the conclusion that Gauteng hospitals are paying exorbitant prices for items because of likely corruption where companies collude to give inflated quotations.

Bloom stated that the examples of gross over-charging that he was given were confirmed by the Gauteng health department in a written reply to questions he presented in the Gauteng Legislature.

Among the examples include instances such as South Rand Hospital ordering diathermy pencils for R127 each when the market price is about R25, and three unidentified companies that submitted quotes for crutches at a price of R318, R325, and R328 respectively, even though the market price is about R120 each.

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Bloom went on to add that Helen Joseph Hospital pays between R59 and R79 for suction liners, which cost R25, and suction canisters, which cost the same, are bought at more than R1,000 a unit.

The department has since launched an investigation in light of these examples and Bloom confirmed that the department conceded that “looking at the two prices they are incomparable”.

The department added in a statement: “Should the investigations reveal any involvement of officials and/or collusion with suppliers in corrupt activities, consequence management will be applied … one of the internal controls measures implemented is to strengthen the vetting committees at the institutions in order to proactively prevent this situation from happening.”

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