Drucker: No More Overpriced Purchases in Health Care

Drucker announces measures to prevent overprices purchases in health sector (photo by TASR)

There will be no more overpriced purchases of medical equipment in the health-care sector, Health Minister Tomas Drucker (a Smer-SD nominee) told journalists on Thursday, adding that the ministry is preparing a central procurement system that should prevent individual purchases of medical equipment by hospitals.

“The conditions [for the system] might be completed in two or three weeks,” said Drucker, who wants each order to be chosen from at least two bids.

Drucker doesn’t see any problem in equipment being supplied by mediators. “If they meet the conditions and submit the lowest bid, I don’t see a fundamental problem in this,” he added. According to him, it’s no longer viable to have an organisation that comes under a ministry’s remit procure something of high value without the ministry’s prior consent.

In fact, new rules for purchasing medical equipment for state-run hospitals have been in effect since December 2015 in cases when the price of equipment exceeds a certain level. This threshold was set at €40,000 as of this April but is set to drop to €30,000 as of September. Under the new rules, in such cases cost-benefit analyses are mandatory, while financial calculations should be assessed along with the suitability of the estimated price of the order and the strategic reasons for the acquisition.