Air Liquide Healthcare has announced that it has been awarded the tender to service four provinces’ medical facilities in Southern Africa, including approximately 140 hospitals, with medicinal gases approved by the Medicines Control Council.

In addition, Air Liquide Botswana has had its contract to supply 10 hospitals in Botswana with medicinal gases renewed, with a further four hospitals included on the list. Both contracts began in February 2009.

Meshack Lekeru, Air Liquide Healthcare Managing Director, indicates the company identified a gap in the market as he said, “We realised that the Healthcare market in South Africa was expanding in-line with government’s efforts to make healthcare services more accessible to the public. It made sense for us to extend our offer to the public sector and to actively support that process.”

Competitive edge
Laurie Raison, Air Liquide Botswana Managing Director, also added, “We distinguish ourselves from the competition by the quality of service that we give to our clients. Our focus is squarely on the patient. The lives of the patients are directly dependant on the quality of the medicinal gases.”

Meshack believes that Air Liquide’s high quality record and its cost-effective offer, coupled with its highest BEE rating, gave it the edge during the tender process.

“I also believe that our BEE rating played a part in the treasury’s decision,” explained Meshack.

Air Liquide Healthcare last year announced that it had received the highest rating, AAA+ by the respected independent agency, Empowerdex for its Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) representation.

Meshack added that Air Liquide is focused on innovation for the patient, in the hospital and the home, at the best worldwide standards of quality, care and environmental protection.

“Our strategy is to offer the patient shorter and safer hospital stays, to reduce patient pain and to minimise recovery from long and high risk surgeries thanks to a full range of hospital services, therapeutic and anaesthetic medical gases that will be introduced soon in Southern Africa market.”

The tender will see Air Liquide servicing government hospitals and state-owned medical facilities in Mpumalanga Province, North West Province, Free State Province and Limpopo Province.

Air Liquide Healthcare is a 50/50 joint venture operation between Community Investment Holdings and Air Liquide (Pty), established in 2003.