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Kidney machines at Mater Dei hospital can finally be replaced

Court rejects bidder's tender appeal

Kidney machines at Mater Dei are to be replaced.

Kidney machines at Mater Dei are to be replaced.

Kidney machines at Mater Dei hospital can finally be replaced or upgraded after the court rejected an appeal by a bidder for the tender.

The process to change or revamp the hospital’s 32 dialysis machines was stalled last year after one of the bidders, Associated Equipment Ltd, contested the award of the contract to A.M. Mangion.

AEL’s appeal had been rejected by the Contracts Department revision board but the company took the matter to court in October.

This week, the Court of Appeal rejected AEL’s claims that the winning bid did not satisfy the technical specifications of the tender.

The court noted that the adjudication process included demonstrations by three short-listed bidders of how the machines worked and the results obtained fulfilled what the tender had been asking for. In view of this the contract was then awarded on the basis of price with A.M. Mangion coming out on top after it put in the cheapest offer.

Some of the machines were beyond repair

The Appeals Court threw the case out and upheld the original decision by the revision board that had rejected AEL’s claims.

This decision means the hospital’s Renal Unit can now move forward with its plans to gradually replace the machines.

The hospital has 32 machines that were bought over a number of years, with the latest purchase of five machines having been made last year.

The new contract was for the supply of 32 “operational brand new” dialysis machines on a pay per use basis. This means the supplier has to ensure there are always 32 kidney treatment machines working at Mater Dei at any one time, with the hospital paying per session.

Only a couple of weeks ago the Health Ministry was forced to deny that appointments at the Renal Unit were cancelled or postponed after a complaint that appeared on the Facebook page Are You Being Served.

A social media user claimed some of the machines were developing faults that were beyond repair.

The Health Ministry had explained the nature of the delay to replace and upgrade the existing machines but clarified that all dialysis equipment at the Renal Unit had been validated for use.

The ministry also said none of the dialysis appointments had been cancelled or postponed due to circumstances originating at the hospital.

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