The Portuguese Government has set out the legal framework in connection with the tendering procedures for public/private partnerships in the health sector.

Decree-law 185/2002 of 20 August 2002 allowed private companies to build, finance and operate hospitals within the Portuguese National Health Service under a public/private partnership.

Decree 10/2003 of 28 April 2003 of the Ministry of Health has now set the tendering procedures for public/private partnerships in the health sector.

1. Invitation to tender

The notice of invitation to tender shall be published in the Portuguese Official Gazette, in the Official Journal of the European Union and in two daily national newspapers.

All interested companies or consortia must submit the tender and all documents required to provide evidence for their good standing and their abilities within the period set by the notice, which shall be no less than sixty days.

2. Public session

At the end of the period for the submission of tenders, the Preliminary Committee shall hold a public session for the opening of all submitted tenders and for the admission of the bidders and the tenders.

3. Qualification and selection of tenders

The admitted tenders shall be submitted to the Evaluation Committee that will (i) select the bidders based on their technical, financial and economical abilities and (ii) select and rank the tenders that best meet public interest.

The bidders highest ranked shall be admitted to the following stage of negotiations.

4. Negotiations

The Evaluation Committee shall conduct negotiations with each bidder separately with the purposes of (i) improving its tender and (ii) agreeing on a preliminary draft contract. All amendments made to each tender must serve public interest and cannot include any solutions presented in any other tender.

At the end of the negotiations, the Evaluation Committee shall draft a final report selecting the best bid, to be approved by the Ministry of Health and to the Ministry of Finances.

5. Award of the contract

The contract shall be awarded by the Ministry of Health, after prior consultation with all bidders.

6. Execution of the contract

Within thirty days as from the award of the contract, the winning bidder must provide (i) incorporate the project company and (ii) deposit the guarantee required by the tender document.

The contract shall be executed within thirty days as from the notice of the registration of the new company or from the authorisation by the Court of Auditors, if applicable, whichever is later.

© Macedo Vitorino e Associados – April 2003

This information is provided for general purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. If you have any question on a matter of Portuguese law you should contact a lawyer registered to practice law in Portugal. If you are a client of Macedo Vitorino e Associados, you may contact us directly at or your usual contact partner.