Few Weeks Before the Elections, Government Hands Out Fourth Healthcare Concession Minister of Health Ogerta Manastirliu and former Minister Ilir Beqaj. Source: QSUT.

Yesterday the Ministry of Health announced as the winner of the concession on hospital laboratories the consortium of companies Labopharma shpk (41,7%), Exalab France (25%) and AB Laboratory Solutions B.V (33,3%) from the Netherlands, the last one being represented by Labopharma.

Nine companies participated in competition. Six of them where disqualified for not presenting an offer or lacking documentation. The winning consortium had the lowest price out of all the other three remaining competitors, offering 10.7% discount.

In December 2016, the Ministry of Health opened the tender for the concession of 18 hospital laboratories all around the country. According to the tender documents, the concession will cost around 13 billion lekë (~€95 million) and will last for ten years, meaning that it will cost around €10 million per year.

The criteria for selecting the concession holder allowed for considerable influence on the winner’s selection, as the technical criteria, which constituted 70% of the total score, were completely subjective.

The winning company needs to pay the costs and expenditures related to preparation of the bidding offer, where is included €600,000 for the IFC, €30,000 for the Concession Handling Authority (ATRAKO), and €3,000 for the contracting authority.

Inexplicably, any disqualified companies that want to appeal the decision are forced to pay a fee of 26 million lekë (~€200,000), which is non-refundable, in order for their complaint to be taken in consideration. This fee makes it practically impossible to file a complaint, since it is illogical to think that one would be ready to lose around €200 thousand , just to be heard without having the warranty for his complaint to be accepted.

With this concession, the total of concessions given by Rama’s government in three years in the field of healthcare – check up, sterilization, hemodialysis and the laboratories – will cost at least €33 million a year for the coming ten years.