JSE-listed African Oxygen (Afrox) has been awarded a contract to supply medical gases to government hospitals and clinics across all provinces.
The company has until the end of September to extend its supply operations to additional government healthcare facilities in KwaZulu-Natal, Free State, North West and Mpumalanga.
The new State healthcare contract runs from October 2017 to September 2022 and provides for the supply of a range of medical and other gases including oxygen, nitrogen, nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, helium, argon, gas mixtures and refrigeration gases, besides others.
In total, Afrox will supply more than 400 hospitals and 1 600 clinics across South Africa.
“Afrox supports the Department of Health’s (DoH’s) aspirations and we have been working to ensure our processes, distribution and supply chain operate at efficiency levels to meet the expectations of the entire healthcare sector in South Africa,” said Afrox CEO Schalk Venter.
He added that Afrox has long identified the healthcare sector as a growth point and that it has been concentrating its efforts in recent years to ensure Afrox can operate at efficiency levels to win this new business.
“Being awarded the contract for the provision of medical gases to State hospitals across South Africa underscores this achievement and affirms Afrox’s capability as the leading provider to healthcare services in Southern Africa offering security of supply of quality products.”
In terms of plants and filling sites, Venter said the company has an “unmatched” footprint for the safe production and transport of medical-grade gases across South Africa.
The company’s health and safety practices and full healthcare products range are produced to both South African and international standards, driven by the research and innovation of parent company, the Linde Group, and its global investments in healthcare.
“We have the production and filling capacity to meet government’s healthcare requirements for medical gases, and processes and systems in place, backed by a skilled workforce and robust supply chain,” Venter commented.
He explained that Afrox has decades of experience in supplying the healthcare sector in South Africa, both private and State requirements, and that the company is delighted for the recognition it received from the National Treasury as the partner of choice to support the DoH to deliver on its mandate to government hospitals, clinics and health centres in South Africa for the next five years.
The government provides full medical services to the more than 45-million South Africans who fall outside the private medical aid net and as a result are dependent on public healthcare.
The latest figures from Statistics South Africa show provincial government expenditure on public healthcare stands at over R150-billion a year.
“Afrox is fully behind government initiatives to better the lives of South Africans,” said Venter.
“We are committed to and have invested in broad-based black economic empowerment programmes and 30% of the total contract value has been contracted to black-owned small, medium-sized and microenterprises.”
In addition, State hospitals also have the opportunity to use Afrox’s state-of-the-art Integrated Valve Regulator technology, which combines the cylinder valve, regulator, content gauge and flow controls into a single piece housed in a virtually indestructible protective guard.
The Integrated Valve Regulator is fitted to a cylinder to form a lightweight, ready-to-use mobile gas package solution and is designed to help medical staff work more effectively.
Flow is capable of being precisely controlled to the required level prescribed by the clinician, and with more flow settings, the treatment can be set exactly to meet patient needs.
“As the Linde Group rolls out new innovations in healthcare, these will become available to South African’s through Afrox,” confirmed Venter.
“Affordable healthcare for all is the government’s goal and Afrox is proud to be a partner in delivering on such a nationally important promise,” he noted.