On 24 September 2019, SAMED and the Gauteng Health Department (GDOH) co-hosted a day-long workshop on the procurement and supply of healthcare products including medical technologies. About 460 delegates from various suppliers engaged with GDOH representatives to address processes concerning supply to the Gauteng health system.

Matters addressed included registration of suppliers on the provincial supplier database; electronic invoicing; tracking of payments and dealing with outstanding payments; forward-planning by health facilities; standard operating procedures, tendering specifications and adjudication of tenders.

Tanya Vogt, Executive Officer of SAMED said: “A well-functioning, value-based procurement system is essential for good patient care and proper use of public funds. We appreciate the health department’s willingness to seek joint solutions to procurement issues.”

Hospitals and clinics require a vast range of medical products in order to deliver efficient and effective preventive, diagnostic and treatment services. Sound planning is necessary to avoid stock-outs and ensure technology is properly maintained.

SAMED and GDOH agreed that patients will be the main beneficiaries of the workshop through the improved understanding between suppliers and the health department officials. In time, this will contribute to more transparent and accountable use of resources, a reduced administrative burden that hampers supply management and a more reliable supply of equipment.

The workshop agenda was also framed within the context of procurement being a crucial factor in transformation. SAMED and its members are striving to increase their contribution to developing and upskilling small enterprises in order to diversify and sustain South Africa’s medical technology industry.