North West Health MEC Dr Magome Masike. Picture: Molaole Montsho/ANA
RUSTENBURG - North West premier Supra Mahumapelo on Monday instituted a forensic investigation in the provincial health department to deal with allegations raised by the members of the public about the department.

The investigation would cover (medical mobile unit) Mediosa's inter facility transfers, including the Buthelezi Emergency Medical Services and other procurement related matters raised by the public, he said.

"We can’t fold [our] arms when serious allegations are being raised by the public about dealings in the department of health. We have instituted forensic investigation and the report will help us understand what the situation in that department is."

The investigation was to commence with immediate effect under the leadership of the director general in the provincial government, Lydia Sebego.

The department allegedly paid Mediosa R30 million upfront and made a further R180 million available to the company, while other service providers -- who have done work for the department -- were told they would only be paid after the new financial year. This was because there was no money to pay them.

The provincial health department was expected to appear before the Provincial Legislature’s Portfolio Committee on Health and Social Development to respond to media reports that it allegedly made a pre-payment and further made available R180m for a purchase of a single mobile clinic.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) said it wanted North West Health MEC Dr Magome Masike to respond to the allegations.

"We need a full account of the cost-effectiveness and procurement of the Mediosa contract and the controversial health facility in the North West Province. We have serious misgivings about the procurement of the Mediosa mobile clinics operating in the rural areas of our province," said Member of the Provincial Legislature Tutu Faleni.

"We have conducted an oversight visit to the mobile health facility in Setlagole at Ratlou Municipality next to Delareyville and were not impressed by the estimated R200 million that the already bankrupt department has to spend on the facility over a period of three years.

"This department has been under administration since April 2015 due to financial mismanagement and it is inconceivable that they would direct these huge amounts of money on a privately owned health facility. There are serious allegations that Mediosa is allegedly linked to the infamous Gupta family," he said.

African News Agency/ANA