Acting Gauteng Health MEC Jacob Mamabolo says processes for the procurement of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) have been strengthened in the department to avoid corruption. The department is embroiled in a tender scandal relating to the procurement of COVID-19 PPEs.

Addressing a PPE Indaba in Johannesburg, Mamabolo said quality PPEs would be provided to health facilities in the province. He has acknowledged that previously mistakes were made in the issuing of tenders to supply PPEs.

Mamabolo visited 25 health facilities in Gauteng for a compliance inspection.

He says some of them are flouting COVID-19 regulations and has committed his department to work hard to ensure that protocols are adhered to.

“That PPE period was characterised by non-compliance with the laws controlling supply chain. It was also characterised by poor quality, but also in addition to that that period was characterised by poor use and poor understanding of the use of PPE. We have been working on a new supply chain process. We do not expect to have PPEs in our institutions and facilities that is not of the right quality and standard,” says Mamabolo.

Mamabolo says some of the health facilities in the province have lowered the standard on compliance and are no longer enforcing COVID-19 regulations. He says even some doctors are not adhering to the regulations.

“In one hospital where I went … the reason why I was in an accident and emergency wards was because I wanted to see the application and use of PPE in those wards. Believe me, I found a doctor with the professional nurse attending to a patient who needed urgent stabilisation, they were not wearing single PPE. Nothing. The discipline around the wearing of PPE – who is supposed to enforce, monitor, make sure that people are wearing PPE?

Mamabolo also issued a stern warning to cleaning companies in hospitals.

“The cleaning companies in hospitals. How can a hospital be dirty? A hospital is supposed to be a place that is clean than any other place on earth. Those cleaning companies must know we can’t have service providers that these companies when they work in private facilities they do their jobs. When they come to government they undermined government and we tolerate that. That has got to end.”

Mamabolo says from now on he will conduct spot checks in health facilities twice a month to ensure compliance.