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15 July 2014 | Paul Snell
District health boards in New Zealand have the potential to save a total of NZ$90 million (£46.3 million) over the next two years with the launch of a National Procurement Service which will combine their purchasing power.
All 20 of the country’s district health boards, which provide or fund health services, have signed agreements to use the service.
“Every year district health boards spend about NZ$1.3 billion (£669 million) buying goods and services, including everything from cotton-wool buds and stationery through to hospital beds and surgical equipment,” said David Wood, interim CEO at Health Benefits Limited – a government-owned company set up to support the health service.
“By taking a national approach, through the National Procurement Service, the combined purchasing power of district health boards ensures the best possible prices can be negotiated across the sector.”
The potential savings are based on a scheme where health boards in the north of the country worked with shared services organisation healthAlliance to save NZ$23.8 million (£12.2 million) over the past year. It is estimated these savings could be replicated nationally.