The tender process to appoint a new aeromedical service for the Eastern Cape, that would ensure a functional air ambulance service to airlift critically injured and ill patients to medical facilities, has already been delayed.
Last week, the Democratic Alliance revealed that Health MEC, Nomakhosazana Meth, had finally cancelled the tender awarded to Leli Investments, after the company proved incapable of fulfilling the requirements of the contract.
In a recent report to the Legislature by MEC Meth, the failure of Leli Investments to deliver the aeromedical service and the consequent termination of their contract were laid bare.
The report also included a procurement plan, tabled to the Head of Department, which specified the timeline to be followed to advertise a new bid for aeromedical services.
The new bid was due to be advertised on 4 March. Today, a full ten days later, no advert has yet appeared in any departmental tender bulletin.
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This lack of urgency to secure an aeromedical service is deeply concerning and flies in the face of the commitment made by the MEC to provide this critical service to the people of our province in the shortest possible time.
If the bid advertisement is delayed, all the consequent processes will be delayed too and the service will not be able to resume on the 1st of June, as indicated in the report.
I will write to the MEC to request that the advertisement to tender for the aeromedical service is prioritised and made available to the public with immediate effect. I will also request that she puts measures in place to safeguard the integrity of the bid adjudication and bid evaluation processes to ensure that they do not fall foul of scrutiny.
In the DA-led Western Cape, the aeromedical and ambulance services are functional and effective. They pride themselves on excellent turnaround times, which contribute enormously to saving the lives of their citizens. The people of the Eastern Cape deserve no less.