Medical Supplies Tenders

The demand for medical equipment, devices and consumables will continue to rise over the coming years, as more and more constituents look to access primary public healthcare services around the world. 

These developments are helping create a wealth of new opportunities for private-sector businesses and suppliers operating in the healthcare sector. Government spending on necessary medical resources, including equipment, medical devices and consumables, including pharmaceuticals has seen increased budget allocation following the pandemic. 

In the United Kingdom, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) allocated more than £168.8 billion to NHS England for the 2023/24 financial year. What’s more, between 2021/22, NHS England spent roughly £17.8bn on new medicines and medical devices throughout the country. 

While the overall costs of crucial medical supplies, including medicine, have sharply risen in recent years, available funds allow the medical industry to procure necessary resources from public suppliers, ensuring that it can fulfil its duty of providing, and supplying quality medical services and healthcare across the country.  

However, these developments are not only unfolding in places such as the UK. Across the world, governments are spending more on the procurement of medical supplies to ensure access to healthcare services for all constituents. 

Seeking new opportunities with medical supplies tenders

Medical supplies procurement in India 

A look outside of the UK can help to identify procurement procedures in other parts of the world. In places such as India, where it’s expected that the Indian healthcare industry will reach a market value of more than $370 billion by 2024/25, the national government continues to seek assistance from private medical suppliers to ensure equitable distribution of resources across the country through healthcare tenders.

While medical supplies tenders in India may resemble similarities to those in the UK, several regulatory changes ensure that locally produced equipment and devices receive priority in the procurement process. 

Through amendments made to the 2017 Public Procurement Order, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade helps to promote and prioritise domestic suppliers whose products contain 50 per cent or more local content. Products that contain 20 per cent or less local content, are categorised as non-local supplies and are not allowed to participate in the procurement process. 

These changes provide better, and more suitable arrangements between government entities and private medical equipment companies, ensuring direct supply chain access for medical and healthcare facilities within the country. 

Additionally, government authorities in the public sector, such as the Quality Council of India, along with the Association of Indian Medical Devices Industry created new features for the Indian Certification for Medical Devices Scheme of 2016. These additions help to further evaluate the quality of any medical products, equipment and consumables available within the domestic supply chain. 

Through this guidance, the Indian government continues to promote the development of Indian-based medical equipment companies, while prioritising domestic partnerships between the public and private sectors

Medical supplies procurement in South Africa 

Elsewhere in South Africa, government medical equipment tenders are made available through the National Department of Health (NDoH), a public entity of the government. Through the tendering process, the NDoH allows for the procurement of supplies and medical equipment, including devices and consumables provided by private sector suppliers. 

However, several procedures need to be followed by both public and private entities during the procurement process, which helps to promote a more equitable marketplace for medical equipment supply tenders

For starters, any public contract or medical supplies tender is governed by the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act and the Public Finance Management Act. These are only two, of several dozen policies that dictate the procurement process, regardless of industry. 

Additionally, the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) oversees the regulation, approval, and standardisation of medical devices, equipment and consumables available in the South African marketplace. 

Both the NDoH and SAHPRA work in collaboration to ensure that constituents have access to quality, and regulated medical resources. More than this, this ensures that medical procurement opportunities in South Africa are awarded to private sector sellers who have the necessary licences and are fully regulated by public entities. 

Additionally, private medical suppliers that look to bid for medical equipment tenders will often be required to have obtained one of three licences for medical establishments from SAHPRA. These include licences for manufacturing and packing, distribution, and wholesalers. Through these processes, both the NDoH and SAHPRA will ensure access to safe and highly performance quality medical equipment for all residents. 

Medical supplies procurement in Zimbabwe 

Over in Zimbabwe, northeast of South Africa, tenders for medical supplies, and access to public contracts have undergone tremendous change in recent years to provide a more competitive framework for private manufacturers and suppliers. 

Any private entity that looks to bid for medical supplies tenders in Zimbabwe will need to comply with several regulations outlined by the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act. 

For starters, any potential supplier will need to be a registered entity in the country and will need to obtain clearance and a procurement certificate from the Public Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ). In addition to this, private suppliers will need to obtain clearance certificates through the National Social Security Authority (NSSA). 

Having the necessary certificates, including PRAZ and NSSA certificates, among others, ensures that any private supplier or company can benefit from medical supplies tenders, access public contracts and apply for medical equipment supply tenders. 

These are only a few of the requirements that private suppliers will need to adhere to before they can apply for any medical supplies tender or public contract. Financial thresholds, outlined in available medical supplies tenders, can also play a role in whether a company may be successful in participating in the procurement process. 

In more recent times, the government has conducted an assessment of the country’s direct medical supplies needs. The overhaul revealed that continuous provision of medical devices, equipment, biomedical and medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, and other hospital protective equipment is required in both private and public medical healthcare facilities. 

This investigation allows for the oversight and necessary provision of medical supplies and maintenance. More than this, it creates countless opportunities for private businesses, companies and manufacturers in the healthcare sector to apply and bid for medical equipment supply tenders and available public contracts. 

Global opportunities continue to exist 

This short review indicates that similar to the United Kingdom, medical supplies and equipment continue to experience growing demand, as public healthcare providers seek the necessary support of private medical suppliers. 

While many of these opportunities present challenges, and obstacles, private suppliers and manufacturers that wish to apply for medical supplies tenders in India, South Africa, Zimbabwe, or anywhere else would need to comply with local regulations and obtain the necessary licences beforehand. 

Nonetheless, these developments allow for a more open and connected marketplace but further create a competitive network that ensures countries have access to quality, safe and high-performing equipment. 

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