Purchase of equipments and raw materials is a vital aspect to successfully run a hospital. The purchase of medical equipments can be classified into three levels:-

At local/organizational level– 1) To select need based and cost effective equipment.

  • Appropriation/Optimization of equipment efficiency. 3) To provide best available medical care to the patient with increasing use of technology and modern equipments.
  • All the equipments available at local level must be purchased by the hospital without any inconvenience.

At National level– WHO has described following objectives at national/International level:-

  • Formulation and adaption of policies and approaches specifically selected to health care equipment.
  • Establishment of information systems capable of receiving assimilating and disseminating technical information health sectors.
  • Strengthening of national healthcare technical services infrastructure.
  • Training of national staff, including technical managers, engineers, technicians, operators and users.
  • Strengthening of national training capability including establishment of national/international training centres.
  • Strengthening mechanism for exchange of information, experts and training facilities at inter country, sub-regional, regional and inter-regional level.


  • On a global scale equipments availability and their liabilities differ from country to country. There are developed, developing and under-developing countries. In this world of globalization the under developed countries still are far behind in terms of economy, per capita income and medical facilities. They mostly trade among themselves and most of them remain neglected in many areas. Let us study some of the facts in developed countries:-
  1. They have latest technology available.
  2. Good industrial base.
  3. Strong infrastructural facilities available
  4. Have a global impact and communication
  5. High class doctors and engineers available i.e. education is of high quality that can be used to advantage.
  6. Gives top priority to the healthcare facilities and hospital/medical equipments.
  7. Healthcare services are available to all.

The above are some of the factors that really put these developed countries far ahead of other developing and under developed countries. In this rapidly changing world, when developing countries like India and South Africa want to purchase equipments there are certain factors that are important to consider. The purchase can be made at a local, national and international level. The purchase in such countries can be divided into the following categories:-

  • Spot purchase– If the hospital suddenly runs short of any item, purchase can be made. The stores officer along with the head of the purchase and finance department can make the spot purchase within the prescribed limit of value of purchase. Mostly this means in employed for purchase at a local level.
  • Risk Purchase– When an item is ordered but is not available with the concerned supplier then the same item can be purchased elsewhere. The difference of cost is then to be recovered from the first supplier. The main supplier is usually appointed after tender applications are invited from various suppliers at a reasonable, affordable price.


Purchase of articles or groups of articles up to Rs 1000/- on each occasion may be made without initiating tenders or quotations.

In all purchases where the estimated value of demand is Rs 1,oo,ooo/- and above the open tender system should be followed. Following are the types of tenders with their mode of invitation:-

  • Open tender- Through advertisement
  • Limited tender- Direct invitation to limited number of firms
  • Single tender- Invitation to one firm only
  • Negotiations- Negotiations with one or more firms.


Some developing countries like India have to import certain equipments from abroad (other developed nations), in order to improve hospital facilities and better patient treatment.

While purchasing equipments from an outside country certain points need to be considered, which are:-

  • Choose the equipment to be replaced or purchased
  • Make an outline of the specifications (details can be mentioned if required)
  • Tender out the equipment as under the guidelines/policies and procedures.
  • Obtain the Performa invoice of the item.
  • Seek permission and approval from the purchase department after feasibility analysis.
  • Import license must be available and date of expiry checked, if not according to the norms then the renewal of license and proper compliance must be made.
  • Apply for custom duty exemption if required.
  • Place the required orders from the supplier.
  • Letter of credit must be obtained from the bank.
  • A clearing agent must be employed to clear the equipment through

the port.

Security Deposit/Bank Guarantee

The firm ordering the equipment must deposit at-least or equal to 10% of the total value of the order placed, pledged to the designated officer for the due fulfilment of this contact and the terms and conditions of the supply order