Sam­sung eyes Cyprus health sec­tor with bid for ma­jor pub­lic con­tract

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

Sam­sung Health­care, one of the top five world lead­ers in med­i­cal imag­ing equip­ment, is bid­ding for the is­land’s first ma­jor ten­der for new equip­ment in state hos­pi­tals in more than a decade.

The Korean giant has hooked up with lo­cal med­i­cal equip­ment and sup­port providers IMS Ia­tromed Ser­vices to sub­mit a bid for 14 dig­i­tal X-rays with dual de­tec­tors, fully au­to­mated, worth EUR 5.39 mln, ten­ders for which closed on May 24.

This is con­sid­ered a mile­stone for the state health sec­tor that wants to re­place ten out­dated machines in­stalled in 2007 that will be de­com­mis­sioned and re­cy­cled.

This is the first ma­jor ten­der since the 2012-2013 eco­nomic cri­sis that dec­i­mated pub­lic fi­nances and saw a halt in all pub­lic pur­chases, even in the cru­cial health sec­tor.

The pre­sent ten­der, posted on the state pro­cure­ment web­site, will be re­viewed over the next two or three months with di­rect award­ing of the con­tract ex­pected end of Au­gust or early Septem­ber.

For Sam­sung this is a first, as it has supplied ad­vanced ul­tra­sound, dig­i­tal ra­di­og­ra­phy, di­ag­nos­tics and CT equip­ment to mostly pri­vate health fa­cil­i­ties in Cyprus, sup­ported by the 30 years of know-how and ex­pe­ri­ence of IMS Ia­tromed.

In­dus­try sources sug­gest that such ma­jor ten­ders are also important for Sam­sung which is try­ing to build an in­ter­na­tional rep­u­ta­tion as one of the lead­ers in its field, as the Korean man­u­fac­turer is widely con­sid­ered in the med­i­cal world as hav­ing one of the best de­tec­tors in the world.

“As Sam­sung grows and ex­pands into other modal­i­ties, so do we. We started in the pre-cri­sis pe­riod – you could say that when oth­ers were clos­ing we were just start­ing,” said Ia­tromed’s Man­ag­ing Direc­tor So­fok­lis So­fok­leous.

Since strik­ing a rep­re­sen­ta­tion deal with Sam­sung for Cyprus more than two years ago, Ia­tromed has al­ready raised a few eye­brows by achiev­ing what oth­ers could only dream about – it has sold sev­eral Pre­mium ul­tra­sound units within a year, a sales record which can only be de­scribed as im­pres­sive, con­sid­er­ing the size of the lo­cal mar­ket and the top-end equip­ment sold.

Fur­ther­more, Ia­tromed’s four-man team, which ex­panded af­ter the se­cond year to cover the in­creas­ing work­load, is con­fi­dent that it is a front-run­ner for the new gov­ern­ment con­tract for the sup­ply, in­stal­la­tion and sup­port of dig­i­tal X-ray equip­ment at all five state hos­pi­tals, re­plac­ing ex­ist­ing equip­ment that have reached end-of-life.

The ten­der was for the sup­ply of two units each at the Ni­cosia Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal, as well as the state hos­pi­tals in Li­mas­sol, Lar­naca, Par­al­imni and Paphos.

“We expect that the in­tro­duc­tion of the Na­tional Health Scheme (NHS) over the next few years will see an in­crease in de­mand for qual­ity med­i­cal equip­ment and high-level sup­port, both in the pub­lic sec­tor and in the pri­vate sec­tor,” So­fok­leous ex­plained.

“As the NHS is be­ing grad­u­ally in­tro­duced, state hos­pi­tals will start be­com­ing au­tonomous, both as regards performance and with their fi­nan­cials. So, there will be de­mand for high-end providers such as our com­pany.

“On the other hand, in or­der for pri­vate health­care providers to match the ad­vanced equip­ment that gov­ern­ment hos­pi­tals will soon have, both to se­cure out­sourced work from the over­flow at state hos­pi­tals and to keep up with these same state hos­pi­tals, fur­ther in­vest­ment is needed,” he added.

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