Supply of school health services delayed

Court issues Natali company restraining order to prevent provision of services in tender dispute.

By
June 16, 2010 12:39
1 minute read.
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The supply of school health services - including vaccinations and health checks - will apparently be delayed after the Jerusalem District Court ruled on Tuesday that the Natali company cannot begin in September to provide them.

The ruling followed a petition by the "Public Health Association," a private company that previously supplied health services but which was replaced in a Health Ministry public tender by Natali, which is better known for its monitoring of and ambulance service for private heart patients. The "association," which was originally chosen by the ministry without a tender, was severely criticized by the State Comptroller for the inadequate level of its services.

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It went to court claiming that the tender to choose its successor, which it lost, was "faulty and favored" Natali, which was chosen to provide school health services. The "association" also maintained that Natali will cost the government NIS 20 million more than it would have done for the same services.

Asked to comment, the ministry spokeswoman said that "in fact, the court ruling will make it difficult to prepare school health services for the upcoming school year. The ministry is looking at the significance of the court decision."

Natali commented: "The Health Ministry chose Natali to supply school health services because of the much-higher quality services that we offered compared to the others competing in the tender. The Association for Public Health was disqualified because of the low marks for the quality of its work when it ran the school health service for three years. Its bid was in fact cheaper, but its plan for services was minimal. The court issued temporary restraining orders without us being present and halting the implementation of the contract, but both sides will be heard in July, and we trust that after hearing us both, the court will rescind the orders."

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