South Africa: Rip-Off Beds for Nasrec Field Hospital

press release

The Gauteng health department spent R13 000 for each bed in the NASREC field hospital but could easily have bought them for less than half the price from other suppliers.

See here for a photo of the bed at NASREC and here for prices paid for these beds and other items.

According to a presentation to the Gauteng Legislature's Health Committee, 1000 beds with mattresses were bought for R13 million, with each bed costing R13 000.

I have established that a fair price for this type of bed together with a mattress is about R5000.

This highlights yet again how the department is being ripped off by a poor and possibly corrupt choice of supplier, probably a middleman with an outrageous markup.

The total cost of equipment for the NASREC field hospital is R24.1 million, which is also likely to be about double what it should have cost. It includes, for instance, R18 000 spent on 40 wall clocks for R450 each.

I hope that the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) is investigating these contracts and the Competition Commission should also probe these prices and attempt to recover money from over-priced items.

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