Siemens supports AXrEM on NHS purchasing

Siemens Healthcare said it supports the recent statement by U.K. medical imaging industry group Association of Healthcare Technology Providers for Imaging, Radiotherapy and Care (AXrEM) on the potential impact of inappropriate deployment of framework agreements for equipment purchasing in the U.K.

In its statement last month, AXrEM called for a transparent and competitive market landscape for these framework agreements, which are an alternative procurement channel to full procurement competition in the European Union. AXrEM has identified growing evidence that some frameworks are operated with limited engagement from the supplier or purchasing community, and have not been established with clarify of scope, according to Siemens.

Siemens pointed to a recent example of a framework for maintenance of medical equipment where only two suppliers were appointed. In that case, no OEMs were successfully engaged, believed to be due to the lack of transparency and manner in which the opportunity was advertised, according to Siemens.

Siemens Healthcare U.K. managing director Peter Harrison said in a statement the company is concerned certain private entities or National Health Service (NHS) organizations seek to establish frameworks with an unclear mandate, typically evidenced by an open-ended list of framework participants on the buy side. If established with limited supply-side engagement, there is a danger they fail to leverage competition when offering a procurement channel to buyers, according to Harrison.

The danger is that NHS Trusts perceive the use of a framework fulfills obligations to entertain a range of competitive offerings, but healthcare providers need to ensure that any procurement is compliant and they are trading through a legitimate framework that ensures provision of a range of competitive offerings, Harrison said.

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