Pristina, July 5, 2023 – The American Chamber of Commerce in Kosovo and USAID’s Municipal Integrity Activity in Kosovo have organized a discussion regarding public procurement in the health sector. This panel discussion, titled “Public Procurement Procedures in Healthcare”, brought together policymakers, healthcare professionals, pharmaceutical company representatives and experts to discuss key issues towards increasing efficiency, transparency and effectiveness in public procurement practices. Discussions focused on key aspects of public procurement in healthcare.
The chairman of the Healthcare Committee, Armend Agani, from the Agani company, emphasizes the need for dialogue regarding the problems faced by pharmaceutical companies, for a genuine operation.
Naim Bardiqi, Secretary General from the Ministry of Health, among others, emphasized some necessary points such as: advancing the procurement plan for this year, approval of a new law, stricter rules for economic operators who submit forged documents, more efficient systems for handling complaints and in integrity and professionalism of public officials. “In the last five years, we have lost a large number of professionals in the public health sector, and there is a risk that this will continue and the Ministry of Health will remain without staff,” he said.
While Shqipe Hoti, Head of the Unit for the Review of Complaints from the Procurement Review Body, also discussed taking measures for irresponsible economic operators who forge. According to Mrs. Hoti, such cases should have criminal prosecution. She also talked about the many complaints they receive from economic operators for the Ministry of Health and explained that it is impossible for the current board to make a decision on these complaints within the deadline that has been specified since the PRB has been operating for a year and a half without a board. Many of the complaints are about criteria and according to her this is very worrying.
The founder and chief executive officer of Medical Group, Skender Kutllovci, divided his procurement debate into three phases. As a first stage, he discussed the preparation of the procurement, such as the essential list, the selection of products and the formulation of the dossier. Then, in the second phase, he talked about the opening of tenders and finally about the complaints and requests of economic operators. Among others Mr. Kutlovci mentioned that there is room for improvement, especially with the University Hospital Service of Kosovo, where the problems are much greater than with the Ministry of Health. He said that there are improvements from the public procurement officials, but requests that transparency be established for the compilation of the file.
In the end Drin Vula, Director of Supply and Development from Santepharm said that we are here to fix the system and asked the officials of the ministry to be more open with the pharmaceutical companies and show for certain products how the order planning is, because this helps them as a distributor.