Thirty-two public hospitals in HCM City carried out their own bids for the first time last year, helping reduce shortages of medicine (Photo: tuoitre.vn)

HCM City (VNA) - Thirty-two public hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City carried out their own bids for the first time last year, helping reduce shortages of medicine.

The remaining 27 hospitals in the city cannot carry out their own bids because they do not have a council of experts.

These hospitals will fix prices based on the 32 hospitals’ bidding results and then sign contracts with pharmaceutical companies.

At a press meeting last week, Pham Khanh Phong Lan, the Health Department’s deputy head, said that although concentrated bidding carried out by the department had helped save costs, there was no need for it because there was a large market of pharmaceutical companies and hospitals in the city.

In concentrated bidding, only some companies win a contract, Lan said, adding that, in this case, the companies have problems in providing medicine.

The hospitals that carry out their own bids have more choices of medicine, she said.

To limit the difference between the price of medicine paid by the hospitals’ bidding councils, the city People’s Committee allows only a 5 per cent difference.  

The results of the first bidding are expected in the first quarter.

Do Van Dung, head of the department’s medicine management division, said at least 163 bidding packages, at a cost of nearly 9.5 trillion VND (416.7 million USD), were finalised this year. This represented an increase of nearly 400 billion VND compared to last year.

While waiting for the bidding results, hospitals are allowed to extend contracts with companies which had earlier won contracts in the concentrated bidding last year.

The Health Department has asked for a list of medicine bids at hospitals to ensure proper treatment guidelines and financing, giving priority to Vietnamese-made medicine.

In the city, the proportion of Vietnamese-manufactured medicine at hospitals is 48 percent on average. Grassroots-level health facilities have a higher proportion of 60 percent.-VNA