European Union of Private Hospitals

Henrik Brehmer, Chief Strategy & Public Affairs Officer, Ramsay Santé

What is the place of the private health sector in Sweden where the Ramsay Santé group (Capio in Sweden) operates?
Approximately 15% of all healthcare in Sweden is managed by private operators, which work mainly as subcontractors for the Swedish regions, and are therefore reimbursed by tax money.

Capio in Sweden is the largest private operator and is active in the broad spectrum of healthcare in Sweden: acute, specialised, outpatient psychiatric, primary care and  prevention, mobile, home, digital cares and consultation, etc.

We are constantly developing in all segments of care to strengthen our integrated care offering for patients and payors, either by acquiring care centres or by setting up new ones. We do both.

Sweden allows private companies to run public institutions. Capio operates St Göran’s Hospital in Stockholm. What are the advantages of such a model?
In fact, St Goran’s is the only hospital of its size to be contracted and managed by a private operator. The reason for this was that the hospital was not being run efficiently. So the county politicians wanted to increase competition with the public hospitals by contracting it out to a private operator, which would increase efficiency and ultimately serve as a benchmark for improving the public hospitals. We have been running this hospital for 22 years now and have increased efficiency and quality dramatically over the years. For its size, in terms of quality and medical results, it is one of the best hospitals in Sweden, or the best. There will be a new tender with the contract starting 2026 and we plan to take part in the tender process.

What lessons can the Stockholm region and other regions in Sweden learn from this experience?
Over the years, the Stockholm region, has followed us closely, both as the principal of acute care provision but also learning how we measure quality and how to organise a hospital efficiently, increasing quality while reducing the time spent in hospital and the unnecessary costs associated with poor health outcomes. Other regions can also learn from this experience, and we have a lot of interaction with other hospitals and politicians, also internationally, who are trying to understand our operating model and how we do things. We have fulfilled our mission to become a reference hospital for other parts of the health care system.

What are the advantages for private healthcare institutions to belong to a European group like Ramsay Santé?
Capio was already international prior to its acquisition by Ramsay Santé and was present in Sweden, France, Germany, Denmark and Norway. Ramsay Santé is backed by two long-term owners being Ramsay Healthcare and Predica (Credit Agricole) with a strong focus on developing healthcare on an international basis. With Ramsay Santé, we have the financial strength to invest in healthcare, to maintain the high standard of our facilities and to make long-term investments, including in digitisation, data, medical equipment and the acquisition of complementary operations. On a day-to-day basis, the sharing of good medical, management and organisational practices with other hospitals internationally is a considerable advantage for us being a global organization. We are also trying to anticipate future changes and the way care will be delivered tomorrow. Overall, we have the opportunity to influence the healthcare system transition and the way care is provided, as we are part of a large group.

The challenge will be to make better use of the money invested in health care by focusing on disease prevention, but also by shifting some care that is done in hospitals today, which is very expensive, to smaller specialised units, outpatient care, home care… We have to invest in preserving health and move healthcare provision closer to the patient..

In Sweden, the primary care segment works well. It is basically connected to the rest of the system and is increasingly focused on prevention. However, efforts can be made to work even more on prevention, especially in somatic and mental health, empowering patients… To do this, we need to work more with data to understand not only the medical data but also the cost of care and try to minimise it while increasing quality. At Ramsay Santé, we try to integrate this understanding into our development strategy.

As a private operator in a public system, we want to be a partner for our patients and work for the system. It is important that hybrid systems where the private and public sectors coexist get the maximum benefit from each other and work hand in hand.