The chairman of a major UK cloud technology SME has come to the defence of the NHS as a procurer of goods and service.
"There are some dire areas, and they need to be improved, but generally you are looking at making the best in the world better [when you talk about the NHS]," said the exec in question, Ronald Duncan, chair and CIO of cloudBUY.
Duncan was responding to an article in The Times newspaper earlier this month that slammed the UK's health service as "wasting" at least £5bn per year through a number of inefficient processes.
The paper had taken some cloudBUY research into the NHS to make its claims, but the analysis was taken out of context, Duncan warns.
"The NHS is the best buyer that we have seen in the world; it regularly buys at 40% below other health services," he told 24n.biz. "I do find it disappointing when people assume that the NHS is poor; it is not. It is the best of any government organisation that we analyse, and up with the very very best in the private sector."
Part of the reason Duncan believes makes the NHS is world class is that this year is the 40th anniversary of it creating the product coding system - one of the first electronic purchasing systems in the world, while the NHS pioneered contract management a half century ago, he points out.
"The NHS also leads the world in sustainablity, and there are much larger savings that can be achieved through partnering with NHS suppliers to improve their sustainability, and reduce wastage in the NHS and its supply chain.
"Again, this is ground breaking, and the NHS is leading the way," he said, adding that the NHS may be six or more years ahead of other central government Departments or even big corporations in this regard.
"The NHS is a super tanker with a small rudder, but despite this it normally is good at steering an accurate course.
"Any organisation can improve, including the NHS," he concluded.
"But it is starting from a very good point in its procurement - and we would like to ensure it stays in the lead."