The controversial multi-million rand Gupta-owned Mediosa mobile health clinics, which are stationed at the Ratlou Health Service Centre in Setlagole in the North West, are still standing idle. The two health clinics have cost the North West provincial government R30-million.
The payment was authorised in 2018 by the then Superintendent-General in the Health Department, Dr Thabo Lekalala.
The fully-fledged mobile clinics were aimed at offering services to patients in rural areas.
It’s almost four years now since the mobile clinics have not been in operation. The fully equipped health trucks were meant to provide health services in the province’s remote areas. However, this could not be realised as it was revealed that Mediosa was awarded the tender without it being advertised at all.
The company reportedly also illegally received a R30-million advance payment.
The community of Setlagole says they had hoped that the clinics would bring much-needed medical care to the area but that was not to be.
“There have been here for quite a while like they don’t help us with those vehicles because if you want help or you want to do X-rays, they send you distances like Mafikeng and all over.”
“These trucks have been standing here for a long time now, they are not serving any purpose. We were told they will assist us, but that has never happened.”
Mediosa has since been liquidated and the provincial health authorities say they are doing everything in their power to have the mobile clinics operational again.
“We had requested legal to try to check whether we can’t have an element of the contest so that we get them released to the department to be used. Remember money was paid for them now as the department we owe nobody for those trucks to be there. The only difference is the person with whom we had a contract, which was illegal, is the one who is on the run, Mediosa,” says MEC for Health in the province Madoda Sambatha.
Sambatha says they are also concerned about the current state of the mobile clinics.
“They were designed very technically, higher than a normal mobile that you would move to the community. So the status of their design is really needed for the outreach programme. You could feel pain that they are been vandalised on a daily basis with some of the elements been stripped.”
Lekalakala has since been dismissed by the North West Health Department. A case of fraud was also opened with the Hawks but the matter has not been concluded yet.