An Analysis of Healthcare Services Tenders in India

Healthcare services encompass a broad spectrum of essential medical provisions aimed at maintaining and improving individual and community health. These services are delivered across diverse settings, including hospitals, clinics, and virtual platforms, covering preventive care, primary care, emergency services, and specialized medical treatments. Preventive measures, such as vaccinations and screenings, form a crucial aspect, alongside primary care involving routine check-ups and the management of chronic conditions. Emergency care addresses acute and life-threatening situations, while specialized medical services, diagnostics, mental health support, and rehabilitative services contribute to a comprehensive healthcare framework. Maternal and child health services, home healthcare, telemedicine, and long-term care further enhance the accessibility and inclusivity of healthcare. The collaborative efforts of healthcare professionals and organizations ensure that these services are patient-centric, promoting overall well-being and addressing diverse medical needs.

Healthcare services extend beyond the private sector, as the Government of India endeavors to ensure that healthcare is accessible, affordable, and of high quality for all. To fulfill this commitment to public well-being and the delivery of high-quality healthcare, they release tenders for healthcare services. These tender announcements serve diverse purposes, including the implementation of public health initiatives designed to enhance the overall health of the population. Governments use tenders to encourage innovation and the adoption of advanced technologies in the healthcare sector. Tenders also address the unique requirements of healthcare services that necessitate specialized skills or equipment. This process fosters transparency, accountability, and equitable competition, minimizing the risks of favoritism or corruption. Additionally, governments employ tenders to facilitate public-private collaborations, promoting partnerships with private entities to collectively address healthcare challenges. In essence, the publication of tenders for healthcare services reflects the government’s dedication to ensuring accessible, high-quality healthcare for its citizens, while simultaneously fostering efficiency and innovation in the healthcare sector.

Government expenditure necessitates advertising, and an analysis of pertinent tender advertisements offers insights into the government’s initiatives in healthcare services. This examination provides a comprehensive overview of healthcare services, encompassing diagnostic services like pathology and radiology, including CT scans, MRI scans, and X-ray services. It also encompasses dialysis services, medicine testing, mobile medical units, telemedicine services, COVID testing services, hospital operations, medical staffing services, and dispensary services. According to data compiled by Tendersniper from various public sources, last year, 520 government agencies in India, out of a total of over 8,000, collectively issued 5,998 tenders specifically aimed at healthcare service projects. This indicates a substantial demand for healthcare services within the government. Notably, a significant portion of these agencies operate in the field of Infrastructure and Planning. Moreover, organizations across diverse sectors, including Rural Development, Health, Urban Development, Education And Sports, Industry, Power, Police, And Defense, also demonstrate a noteworthy requirement for tenders related to healthcare services, including diagnostic services, dialysis services, medicine testing, mobile medical units, telemedicine services, COVID testing services, hospital operation, medical staffing services, and dispensary services.

Diagnostic services:

An Analysis of the tender information showed that diagnostic services, encompassing pathology and radiology, were applied across a varied spectrum of projects. These projects span Diagnostic Services for Breast Imaging with Radiology Information System (RIS), TB Interferon Gamma Release Assay (IGRA) testing, and the establishment of a Surveillance Facility for emerging and remerging diseases at the College of Animal Biotechnology, among others in different sectors. Some of these applications are detailed below:

In the healthcare sector, organizations such as Medical And Health, Health And Family Welfare Department, Directorate Of Health Services, and National Health Mission, along with the Department Of Health & Family Welfare, issued tenders for Diagnostic Services for Breast Imaging with Radiology Information System (RIS) for the National Health Mission. These services encompass procedures like mammography and other specialized radiological imaging methods tailored for assessing breast health. The incorporation of a Radiology Information System (RIS) introduces a technological dimension to the service, managing radiological information efficiently, streamlining workflows, and enabling accurate reporting in the context of breast imaging diagnostics. These tenders underscore the healthcare sector’s commitment to embracing advanced technologies and integrated systems for effective diagnosis and management of breast-related conditions.

Additionally, tenders are issued for Diagnostic laboratories providing services for TB Interferon Gamma Release Assay (IGRA) testing. IGRA is a blood test utilized to detect latent tuberculosis infection, offering a more specific and targeted approach compared to traditional tuberculin skin tests. These diagnostic laboratories are equipped to collect blood samples, conduct IGRA tests, and analyze the results to determine if an individual has been infected with the tuberculosis bacteria. Such services play a critical role in early detection, accurate diagnosis, and the appropriate management of TB cases, reflecting a commitment to employing advanced and specific diagnostic methods in the fight against tuberculosis.

Moreover, a total of 35,121 diagnostic centers are in operation, with tenders being issued for the operation and maintenance of these laboratory diagnostic centers. The focus is on activities such as the collection, transportation, analysis, and reporting of laboratory samples. These initiatives aim to ensure the efficient functioning of diagnostic centers, emphasizing the importance of a well-maintained infrastructure for comprehensive laboratory services in healthcare.

In the insurance sector, the Employees State Insurance Corporation and Maharashtra Employee State Insurance Society issued tenders for diagnostic services, including Diagnostic Centers for Super Specialty Services and Blood Bank Services for ESIC Hospitals under the mIMP Scheme (Medical Practitioner). An IMP, or private Medical Practitioner, is registered with ESI to provide medical treatment to the Insured Person and their family members for defined remuneration. ESIC provides a monthly cash allowance for a maximum duration of 24 months in case of involuntary loss of employment or permanent invalidity due to non-employment injury. The ESIC has fixed the employee contribution rate at 0.75% of their wages and the employer’s contribution at 3.25% of wages for FY 2023-24. Additionally, tenders have been released for the Sonography Service at Maharashtra Employee State Insurance Society Hospital, wherein the Sonography Service utilizes sound waves for medical imaging to create visual representations of internal body structures. This technique is commonly used for examining organs, tissues, and blood vessels, particularly for monitoring fetal development during pregnancy. Organizations in the healthcare sector may issue tenders for Sonography Services to procure these diagnostic imaging services, outlining requirements for ultrasound examinations, result interpretation, and equipment maintenance to ensure the availability of accurate and high-quality sonography services for various medical purposes.

Across various sectors, entities like the Indian Institute of Technology Indore issued tenders for the empanelment of Hospitals/Diagnostic Centers, covering a range of services including Super Specialty, Secondary Care, Blood Bank, and Diagnostic Services. The Haryana Board Corporation released tenders for the arrangement of testing facilities over three months, specifically focusing on liquid culture diagnostic services through a service provider from NTEP-certified private labs under NTEP certification. This certification ensures the delivery of high-quality diagnostic services for tuberculosis, initiating appropriate treatment. The District Magistrate of Purba Medinipur published tenders for Diagnostic Services under Digha State General Hospital. In the field of Animal Husbandry, invited tenders for a Consultancy Firm to establish a State of the Art State Level Animal Disease Diagnostic Lab and a BSL-2 Plus Diagnostic and Surveillance Facility for emerging and remerging diseases at the College of Animal Biotechnology. The Directorate General of Defence Estates, HQ, issued tenders for Diagnostic Services under PPP, and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited released tenders for Diagnostic Services for Bhel. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited had also invited tenders for Diagnostic Centers for recognition/empanelment.

Pathology services:

In the healthcare services, a total of 5998 tenders were issued, with 391 specifically focused on diagnostic services. Among these, 91 tenders were specifically allocated for pathology services. Various departments, including Indian Oil Corporation Limited, ECOR, The West Bengal Power Development Corporation Ltd., District Magistrate Purba Medinipur, and Cooch Behar District Of West Bengal, released tenders for Pathological Laboratory Services. These services encompass a wide range of activities, such as conducting Pathological tests for contract workers and employees, diagnostic tests for Dengue cases, pathology tests for medical camps, empanelment of Pathology Centers/Laboratories, outsourcing of pathology tests and pathology technicians, conducting pathological biochemical tests, blood tests at BPCL, and the analysis of blood samples for HIV viral detection. These tenders reflect the diverse needs of different departments and organizations in procuring comprehensive pathology services, ensuring the availability of high-quality diagnostic testing for various medical purposes.

Radiology services:

In the healthcare services, a total of 5998 tenders were issued, with 391 specifically geared towards diagnostic services. Within this category, 111 tenders were specifically dedicated to radiology services, encompassing CT scans, MRI scans, and X-ray services. Various departments, including the National Thermal Power Corporation Limited, Department of Medical Education and Research, Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, and Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research, released tenders for a range of radiological services. These services include CT and MRI services, teleradiology services, digital x-ray services, and outsourcing of CT scan technicians and radiological safety officers. This array of tenders highlights the varied requirements of distinct departments and organizations in acquiring extensive radiological services. It ensures accessibility to advanced diagnostic imaging technologies catering to various medical applications.

Dialysis services:

An analysis of tender data has highlighted the extensive utilization of dialysis services across diverse sectors, including education, health, rural development, and the military. Entities such as Pune Municipal Corporation, Employees State Insurance Corporation, Chief Engineer Andaman Public Works Department, NRHM, Indian Army, and State Health and Family Welfare Society issued tenders covering various facets of dialysis services. The demand for these services aligns with the substantial growth anticipated in India’s dialysis market, projected to increase from $2.113 billion in 2022 to $4.368 billion by 2030, indicating a compound annual growth rate (cagr) of 9.50% from 2022 to 2030. The range of tender activities includes dialysis services, hemodialysis services, setting up of dialysis units, empanelment of centers for super specialty treatment, investigations, and dialysis facilities, along with the outsourcing of dialysis technicians. In developed countries, hemodialysis is typically administered thrice a week, but in India, most patients receive hemodialysis twice a week, with only 20% undergoing dialysis three times a week. The empirical nature of dialysis prescriptions, often with kt/v < 1 in the majority of patients, highlights the need for further attention to optimize dialysis practices. These initiatives underscore the diverse applications of dialysis services and organizations’ strategic emphasis on enhancing healthcare infrastructure to meet evolving medical needs

Medicine Testing:

An examination of medicine testing tenders reveals a notable focus on quality assurance and compliance across various sectors. Within In the education and insurance sectors, government entities such as CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Medical Education Department Uttar Pradesh, Tezpur University, Employee State Insurance Scheme, and Health and Medical Education, there is a consistent issuance of tenders for medicine testing. The scope of these tenders encompasses diverse areas, including the synthesis of organic molecules, line probe assay for first and second-line drugs, empanelment of drug testing laboratories for comprehensive drug analysis, analysis of AOAC international volume 1 in drugs, and the analysis of allopathic drugs. These tenders underscore the collective commitment to ensuring the safety, efficacy, and quality of pharmaceuticals through rigorous testing protocols. The involvement of reputable laboratories and academic institutions reflects a collaborative effort across sectors to uphold stringent standards in drug testing and contribute to advancements in healthcare and pharmaceutical research.

Dispensary services:

A Study of the 197 dispensary services tenders, out of the total 5998 healthcare services tenders in the previous fiscal year 2022-23, reveals a predominant issuance by the Employees State Insurance Corporation. Additionally, other entities, including Cement Corporation of India Limited, Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research, Ministry of Human Resource and Development, and HLL Lifecare Limited, have actively participated in tendering for various dispensary services. The spectrum of these tenders encompasses diverse aspects, such as providing dispensary services at IIIT, outsourcing dispensary services, premises for ESI dispensary, licensing and running of medical and chemist shops, and the establishment of AMRIT Pharmacy. The focus on dispensary services, including outsourcing, licensing, and establishing medical facilities, reflects a strategic emphasis on fostering accessible and quality healthcare delivery across diverse organizational landscapes.

Scope of the Healthcare Services:

The quarterly analysis of healthcare services tenders for the period spanning October 2022 to November 2023 reveals a dynamic distribution. In the initial quarter, from October 2022 to November 2023, a substantial 5998 tenders were issued, constituting approximately 34.4% of the total tenders issued throughout the entire period. Moving into the second quarter, from October 2022 to December 2023, the number slightly decreased to 1127 tenders, representing around 6.5% of the total. The third quarter, spanning January to March 2023, witnessed 1354 tenders, contributing about 7.8% to the total. The subsequent quarter, April to June 2023, featured 1591 tenders, making up approximately 9.1% of the total tenders. Transitioning to the fifth quarter, July to September 2023, a total of 1385 tenders were issued, comprising around 7.9% of the total. Finally, the last quarter, from October to November 2023, recorded 537 tenders, constituting approximately 3.1% of the total tenders issued during the specified timeframe. This comprehensive breakdown provides a percentage-wise overview of the distribution of tenders in each respective quarter, offering insights into the evolving trends and patterns in healthcare services procurement.

As of December 17th, 2023, there are currently 87 active tenders for healthcare services. Among these, Maharashtra leads with 23 tenders, constituting 26%, followed by Haryana with 22 tenders (25%), Uttar Pradesh with 13 tenders (15%), Delhi with 10 tenders (11%), West Bengal with 8 tenders (9%), Andhra Pradesh with 6 tenders (7%), and Karnataka with 5 tenders (6%) to the overall distribution. This state-wise breakdown reflects the diverse regional engagement in healthcare services tenders on the specified date. The analysis of tenders reveals a substantial demand for healthcare services within the government, with significant focus areas in diagnostic services, dialysis, medicine testing, radiology, and dispensary services. The quarterly breakdown illustrates evolving trends in healthcare services procurement, and as of December 9th, 2023, there are 184 active tenders. This procurement is carried out through an open tendering process, where eligible vendors can secure the tender by submitting competitive prices and strong technical proposals.

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