Medical technology industry body slams PPE graft allegations

03 August 2020 - 14:24 By Suthentira Govender
The South African Medical Technology Industry Association has condemned allegations of PPE corruption and urged its members not to be part of 'improper' business dealings.
The South African Medical Technology Industry Association has condemned allegations of PPE corruption and urged its members not to be part of 'improper' business dealings.
Image: AFP/ WANG ZHAO

The SA Medical Technology Industry Association (Samed) has hit out at allegations of the unlawful procurement of personal protective equipment and urged its members not be party to “improper” business practices.

According to the Sunday Times, claims have emerged of relatives and friends of ANC leaders benefiting from government contracts for personal protective equipment (PPE) running into millions of rand.

While the procurement of these and other medical products is now in focus, Samed continually advocates about the crucial role procurement plays in achieving positive health outcomes and how it can enhance — or undermine — the functioning of the health system. 

Samed advises government, and other public and private health sector policymakers on solutions to make procurement more effective, transparent and protected from corruption,” said Tanya Vogt, the association's executive officer. 

She said the body wanted “utmost transparency  to mitigate the risks of potential collusion between organisations and individuals in the public and private sectors, as this would allow for the exploitation of a national emergency for wrongful gain”.  

From the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have continually informed the medical technology sector about national policies and called on suppliers — and everyone they work with — to respect the legislation and policies in spirit and follow them in practice.”

Vogt said with SA's health-care system experiencing severe strain due to the pandemic, Samed's members should lead by example and refuse to be part of improper or corrupt practices, including profiteering and collusion for inappropriate gain in any form. 

“Only in this way can we ensure that SA has a sustainable medical technology industry that improves health outcomes and patients' lives.” 

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