In 2010, the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) collaborated with SingHealth Group Procurement Office (GPO) to form the Shared Procurement Group comprising healthcare institutions run by Voluntary Welfare Organisations (VWOs) that included nursing homes, community hospitals and hospices. The two-year pilot programme aimed to drive cost savings via bulk purchase of diapers and milk feeds as these were the two highest value items in terms of the VWOs’ expenditure on medical supplies.
The overall objectives of the shared procurement services for VWOs are:
1. To achieve cost savings through competitive pricing from vendors by aggregating demand and consolidating purchases.
2. To increase the VWO’s productivity by reducing their time on procurement matters.
3. To promote sharing of procurement knowledge and good practices amongst VWOs.
After the initial success of the pilot, the programme was formalised for another 2 years from 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2014. By then, the number of items bought under the Group extended to wet wipes, dressing sets, catheterization sets, hand rubs, beds and accessories, patient mover/transfer equipment, personal protective equipment, air purifiers, portable air cons, uniforms and shoes.
Currently, there are 29 VWOs in the Shared Procurement Programme (3 Community Hospitals, 25 Nursing Homes and 1 Hospice).
||All Saints Home (Hougang)
||All Saints Home (Tampines)
||Apex Harmony Lodge
||Bethany Methodist Nursing Home
||Bright Hill Evergreen Home
||Bright Vision Hospital
||Dover Park Hospice
||Jamiyah Nursing Home
||Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital
||Ling Kwang Home for Senior Citizens
||Lions Home for the Elders (Bedok)
||Lions Home for the Elders (Toa Payoh)
||Man Fut Tong Nursing Home
||Moral Home for the Aged Sick
||Ren Ci Hospital
||Ren Ci Long Term Care
||Ren Ci Nursing Home
||Singapore Christian Home For The Aged
||Society for the Aged Sick
||Sree Narayana Mission Home for the Aged Sick
||St Joseph's Home
||St Theresa's Home
||Villa Francis Home for the Aged
||Sunshine Welfare Action Mission
||Tai Pei Social Service
||Peacehaven Nursing Home
||St Andrew’s Community Hospital
||St Andrew’s Nursing Home
A new term of three years (July 14 to June 17) has just started. The group will strive to achieve greater cost savings by extending the list of procurement items further to include wheelchairs and rehabilitation equipment, minor medical equipment, ward curtains and linen, electrical appliances, pharmaceutical refrigerators, specialised trolley, stainless steel trolleys, electrical housekeeping items, bedpan sanitisers and sterilisers, office furniture, printers, copiers and projectors.
The Shared Procurement approach has brought about a fundamental shift in the culture and operational thinking of the VWO of which can be extended to outsourced professional services such as the building and maintenance services, transport services, IT services, laundry services, pharmacy services. The drive to reduce operational spending, streamline processes and improve productivity has helped the VWOs to save costs, foster consistency via standardisation process and enhance performance levels. This in turn, helps the VWOs to deliver better services to the patients and residents.