Samsung eyes Cyprus health sector with bid for major public contract
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This is considered a milestone for the state health sector that wants to replace ten outdated machines installed in 2007 that will be decommissioned and recycled.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.