Support Services manages all contracts for BC’s health authority goods, supplies, equipment and services.
To guide and focus our work, Support Services has a Contract Plan that identifies opportunities for combining individual health authority requirements into province-wide contracts. The Contract Plan supports Support Services' goals of:
- Enhanced value for the health care system through increased process efficiency, standardization, capital avoidance and leveraging of buying power
- Enhanced service quality through delivery of customer-focused services
- Improved alignment and integration across health authorities
Within the Contract Plan, Support Services uses three contracting strategies to achieve these goals. Market conditions, and the status of existing contracts, determine which approach is selected for each product grouping (category).
- Price Normalization addresses disparities in the prices charged to different health authorities for the same products by the same suppliers by establishing a single provincial contract. The new contract moves all health authorities to the lowest price available and aligns contract expiry dates.
- National contracts developed by HealthPRO, Support Services' group purchasing organization, will be used for general use products when a product category has a stable market and leveraging national buying power provides price savings. This approach may require some product standardization.
- Strategic sourcing is used for categories that have high market volatility, are specific to a practice or treatment or may provide significant opportunity for efficiencies. This method is the most complex, involves product standardization and typically delivers the most significant gains with savings in the range of 15 to 20 percent.