Posted by: ihfgeneva | October 22, 2013

Technology’s role in procurement in the public and private healthcare sectors

bionexo españaThe International Hospital Federation was represented by Sheila Anazonwu, IHF Partnerships and Project Manager, at the International Forum Procurement in Public Health, Regulatory Framework and Technology hosted by Bionexo, a Partner of the IHF Corporate Programme, held 27 September 2013 in Barcelona, Spain.   The event brought together experts on public procurement and government officials from Brazil, Columbia, Spain and France to discuss the role that technology now plays in procurement in the public and private healthcare sectors. Discussions and exchange of ideas focused on the impact of regulations on electronic procurement procedures for health institutions and the trends in the use of technology in enabling optimization of such e-procurement procedures, as contract bidding and awarding as well as reporting.

In the European context, it was reported that under the new European Union Directive, there would be harmonization and clear observance of rules governing procurement, especially by hospitals through innovation and technology.

Mauricio De Lazzari Barbosa,CEO of Bionexo, commented  that electronic platforms may lead the processes of more flexible and transparent buying.

In the case of Spain, one of the main conclusions was that there was need for Spanish law to adapt electronic public procurement from hospitals in response to the new European Directive.

Ms. Carole Gandon, International Manager of Resah-Idf (France), the strategic purchasing group in France, and coordinating body of the IHF Group Purchasing Special Interest Group (http://www.ihf-fih.org/Spec.-Interest-Groups/Group-Purchasing-Organisations-GPO), argued that the future of the global market will lay in it is ability to innovate and not solely on prices. This is due to the new provision under the directive that puts an emphasis on social and environmental costs of products, instead of merely monetary costs.

In contrast to the European representatives, the Latin American representatives present highlighted decentralized health administrations and their effect on procurement. In the case of Brazil, Dr. Solla, Secretary of the Department of Health of Bahia, explained that it is hard to modernize purchases as pursued by Spain, due to its outdated legislation and health management practices in general.  In Colombia, Javier Orlando, Director of the Departmental Health Institute of North of Santandar, also reported the apparent loss in confidence and orientation with the devolution of full purchasing authority for health facilities from central government to hospital directors.

One of the main conclusions of the Forum was the role that regulatory frameworks and technology can play in procurement practices of healthcare institutions.

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