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Pooling procurement in the Belgian hospital sector.

Hebert, Guy.
World Hosp Health Serv ; 47(1): 27-30, 2011.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-21675637
The Belgian hospital sector is following the example of a number of other European countries and for more than ten years now, has been striving to pool its medical supplies and equipment purchases in a bid to reduce costs. The various experiments of which we are aware come under both opportunist purchases and initiatives which are designed to encourage local-regional contracts. These attempts have now all come to nothing or are struggling in the absence of a structured and professional approach. In 2005, the Saint Luc University Clinic in Brussels decided to set up a high-performance purchasing department, the aim being to centre its initiatives around TCO or Total Cost of Ownership. Following an analysis of the various experiments into pooling procurement in hospitals in Europe, the Saint Luc University Clinic decided on a central procurement agency model, in accordance with new legislation on public procurement. This article seeks to highlight the prerequisites which are vital for a procurement pooling initiative, without underestimating the risks and limitations of implementing such a change in procurement practices. The Mercure central procurement agency is now the largest interhospital purchasing structure in Belgium.