February 08, 2017

How a National Healthcare Group Purchasing Organization can Support Local Economic Development

HealthPRO is often asked how a national GPO can promote local economic development when representing the purchasing interests of public healthcare organizations who must follow national and provincial procurement regulations.

“We believe that supporting local businesses is critical to fostering innovation, competition and a sustainable healthcare system,” says Krista Stagliano, Vice President, Materials Management.  “Although HealthPRO is unable to give preference to local suppliers, we have implemented a number of contracting processes and strategies to provide fair access to these businesses.”

  1. 80-100% Compliance to HealthPRO Contracts

When participating in a HealthPRO contract, regardless of whether the award is to a single or multiple suppliers, members are expected to commit 80-100% of their spend in the category to one supplier.

As the minimum is set at 80%*, members have the opportunity to purchase up to 20% of their requirements from local market entrants or suppliers of unique or innovative products.

  1. Choosing a Multi-Supplier Award Strategy

HealthPRO’s Multi-Supplier Award strategy enables those companies who can only supply within a particular province the opportunity to be awarded contracts.

Although HealthPRO cannot give preference to local suppliers under various trade agreements such as the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) and the soon to be ratified Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), Multi-Supplier Award strategies enable contract awards to companies who can supply on a provincial basis, even though those local companies may not be able to serve the entire country.

  1. Engaging with Suppliers Early On   

HealthPRO engages suppliers 18-24 months prior to issuing a Request for Qualification (RFQ).  This early engagement provides local suppliers with time necessary to implement strategies and consider options that would make them competitive within a national contract. For example, a supplier in Western Canada may choose to partner with a distribution company in the east, thereby establishing a network that enables them to service hospitals from coast to coast.

HealthPRO encourages suppliers to consult its contracting schedule, so they are aware of upcoming opportunities well in advance.


For more information on how HealthPRO supports local economic development, please contact:

Kendra Frey
Senior Director, Materials Management or 905-568-3478 ext. 320

*A minimum of 80% reflects the majority of, however, not every HealthPRO contract.