Friday 27th April 2018  
Performance and quality of care
European private hospitals are not “flying blind”
20% of European hospitals beds are privately owned, but so few policy makers consider our effective position! The private sector is growing even if reductions of beds represent the major trend in healthcare modernization. The private response to the challenge of sustainable systems in EU is “performance”. Quality of services and cost containment require a common perspective with regulators, as full partner.
The recent WHO 70’s anniversary remembers us the meaning of care, and we represent a concrete response transforming intention into act. In international meetings, we present a positive and proactive perspective on innovation. Quality and safety remain both together the major goal of the future. We have to improve our communication to express the private know-how as care givers and to limit consequences of “flying blind” as explained by OECD expert in Tokyo concerning Primary and Ambulant Care!
We’ll organize risk management session to limit adverse events provoking harm, waste and unexpected expenses, inviting international experts. UEHP is clearly a platform offering valuable response to major European patient safety questions, with specific sessions with concrete workshops. Using more IA and Big Data, we can enhance the cooperation with Europe health systems policy makers to offer the right service on time. We ask just that decisions will be based on facts and relevant indicators. We are then certain to succeed…
Dr Paul Garassus
President of UEHP
at HBI* meeting in London
Healthcare Business International (HBI) is a yearly major event for the private healthcare sector, organized by Max Hotopf in London. It is also a rare occasion to meet major international stakeholders and investors. Many European Hospital Groups CEOs and professionals were present at the 2018 editon on 10-11 April, authorizing personal contacts and useful networking.
« Valuable information was obtained during sessions held by private hedge fund investors on actual M&A strategy, economic context in Europe and abroad by bankers. A real expertise was demonstrated in front of an attentive audience. For UEHP new contacts with Central and Eastern Europe providers were established, for future collaborations with major entrepreneurs. We have been delighted to meet our UEHP colleagues from France, Germany, Spain and Portugal during the event, and have taken the chance to get to know new ones from Poland, Bulgaria, Czech and Slovak Republics, and Hungary.» Dr Paul Garassus
* HBI Healthcare Business International
at Patient Safety Global Ministerial Summit 2018, Tokyo
This year again UEHP participated to the Patient Safety Global Ministerial Summit 2018. After a successful previous edition hold in Bonn, Germany, in 2017, the 2018 summit was perfectly organized in Tokyo by the Japanese Health Ministry. As European stakeholder, it is important for UEHP to be present in order to obtain direct information on international strategy concerning quality, but also to be recognized as an efficient partner too.
Two major topics were discussed: first how to reduce adverse events, complications and waste due to malpractices using data and indicators. Second how to share experience concerning positive actions dedicated to patient safety. This “High Level” meeting was a chance to meet officials, but also to repeat that we need more data and statistics especially on private provider performance including outcome indicators.
Our objective in the next future remains to present facts and results demonstrating the interest of UEHP members and the implication of the private hospital sector to reach our main target: quality of care.
To go further : “OECD, Economics of Patient Safety in Primary and Ambulatory Care, flying blind”
Vaccines: MEPs approve a non-binding resolution on vaccine hesitancy and the drop in vaccination rates in EU
Yesterday, 19 April, the European Parliament adopted an important non-binding resolution on vaccine hesitancy and the drop of vaccination rates in Europe, during the plenary session in Strasbourg.
Warning public confidence in vaccination is a major challenge that is already affecting health, Parliament said on Thursday.
Epidemiological data show significant gaps in vaccines being accepted and coverage rates that are too low to ensure the public is properly protected against vaccine-preventable diseases, MEPs note with concern in a resolution voted on Thursday.
Widespread and growing vaccine hesitancy is already having consequences such as avoidable measles outbreaks in a number of countries, they add. 
MEPs point out that vaccines are rigorously tested in multiple-stage trials and are regularly reassessed.  They also welcome the forthcoming launch of a Joint Action, co-funded by the EU Health Programme, to boost the number of people who have been vaccinated. They also urge the European Commission step up its support for national vaccination efforts.
MEPs advocate strengthening the EU legal basis for immunisation coverage, and call on the EU Commission to facilitate a more harmonised and better-aligned schedule for vaccination across the EU.  
Restore confidence through greater transparency
MEPs call for greater transparency in the production and evaluation of vaccines and their adjuvants, in the funding of independent research programmes and about the possible side-effects of vaccines, so as to help restore trust in vaccination.
They also point out that researchers must declare any conflict of interests and say that those who have them should be excluded from evaluation panels. The confidentiality of the deliberations of the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) evaluation panel should also be lifted, and scientific and clinical data be made public, they add.
MEPs also advocate opening a factual and science-based dialogue with civil society, in order to combat unreliable, misleading and unscientific information on vaccination.
To read more : click here
Read the full adopted text : click here
Declaration for Patient Safety
On 5th December 2017 was launched at the European Parliament the Declaration for Patient Safety, which calls the Ministers of Health of the EU to agree on a high level of understanding on patient safety practices and standards to drive their national policies into a common path.
Patient harm is the 14th leading cause of the global disease burden, a threat to human health alike tuberculosis and malaria. Governments must act now to stop preventable harm and guarantee a safer healthcare in Europe  -  You might find references and further info on the Declaration for Patient Safety at http://declaration4patientsafety.eu/ - now available also in French – German – Italian – Spanish.
You might want to share the link of Avaaz campaign https://goo.gl/ERtxT8
APHP (Portuguese association private hospitals)
Portuguese citizens increasingly prefer private hospitals
Following the usual publication of the National Institute of Statistics (INE) for World Health Day (April 7th ) the Portuguese Association of Private Hospitals (APHP) proudly highlights the significant and growing contribution of private hospitals to the Portuguese Health System and perceives it as a clear sign of the preference of Portuguese citizens.
Today's INE publication on the existing capacity and activity in the country's health system between 2006 and 2016, stresses that «The number of private hospitals continued to increase, surpassing for the first time that of hospitals belonging to the official health service». In 2016 there were 114 private hospitals operating in Portugal, for a total of 225.
Private hospitals increase activity
INE also emphasizes that there is an increase in the activity of private hospitals in all areas. Regarding the number of attendances in hospital emergency services, medical consultations, complementary diagnostic and therapeutic exams in hospitals, INE states that these " increased between 2015 and 2016, always more significantly in private hospitals than in public and public-private partnership hospitals, even though it is in these that most of these medical acts continue to be carried out. "
Establishing that private hospitals have strengthened their activity, INE attests that:
  • Private hospitals accounted for more than 1.2 million emergency episodes, an increase of 9.2% compared to the previous year.
  • The number of beds in Private hospitals increased surpassing 11,000 in 2016
  • Private hospitals provided more than 6.5 million specialty consultations, a growth of 7.9% over the previous year - "the increase in the number of medical consultations occurred mainly in private hospitals"
  • Private hospitals performed more than 250,000 "large and medium-sized surgeries"
The INE also concludes that «the role of private hospitals is particularly relevant in hospitalization in psychiatry», that «the available haemodialysis equipment has increased in private hospitals» and that «complementary diagnostic and therapeutic exams performed in private hospitals increased. »
The future of Portugal’s healthcare system and the place of the private sector.
Interview by Oscar Gaspar, President of APHP (Portuguese association private hospitals) for Pharma Boardroom.
How to prepare healthcare institutions to Data security
On 29 March, the French Federation Private Hospitals (FHP) organised a half-day of work and exchanges on EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the European reference text on personal data protection. This training was led by a lawyer specialized in new technology and the Correspondent for protection of personal data from Orpéa-Clinea private health group.
Both gave participants very practical keys on the implementation of the new obligations, in line with the peculiarities of our sector. About one hundred private clinic directors attended this training. This mobilisation reflects the importance of those issues and for our institutions of a good preparation as regard to this new regulatory system. Private hospitals are at the very heart of issues related to the production and usage of health data in the context of digital health development.
Exit from the memoranda, what changes in Private Health
While Greece is approaching the exit time from the fiscal adjustment memoranda and strict supervision of the European Troika and the International Monetary Fund in August 2018, turbulences are observed in all business sectors of the Greek economy, with foreign funds investing, and others waiting for the appropriate, time-wise, economic situation.
Throughout this landscape, the health sector does not remain unaffected.
In the past months, CVC Capital Partners, based in Luxembourg, has completed the acquisition of the Metropolitan private clinic, concluding, indeed, with some of its shareholders, an equity partnership for placements in the industry in Greece.
What followed was the agreement to acquire the 97.2% of IASO General, a General Private Hospital in Athens, an IASO Group member, which deal is about to be approved by the National Bank, the sole creditor of the clinic to be sold. Given the approval of the Competition Commission, the transfer is expected to be completed within the next few days.
Prior to completing the transfer of IASO General, CVC Capital reportedly indicated an interest in the acquisition of the HYGEIA Hospital, a HYGEIA Group member controlled by the Piraeus Bank, with three hospitals in Athens and one of the largest turnover. CVC Capital left open the possibility to add also the Henry Dunant Hospital in the tender, also run by the Piraeus Bank, should the examination for the HYGEIA Hospital not be satisfactory. The discussions are still at an early stage though.
At the same time, the FARALLON Fund acquired the majority of the EUROMEDICA Group’s loans, which controls 15 Clinics and more than 90 Diagnostic Centers across the country, and is waiting for the change of Administration and the acquisition of the remaining percentage of loans controlled by one bank only.
In addition, the Greek health services market has the specificity that it remains physician - centered. With the exception of very strong and historical brand names, the vast majority of patients choose a private hospital on the basis of a physician.
All this happens at a time when private clinics show a significant improvement in their operational profitability, but they cut down the fees to the Greek National Health Service Organisation (in greek: EOPYY), the state and sole insurance provider, and reduce costs.
Under the above developments, the landscape has radically changed, over a year ago.
Clinic owners who are not “eager” to sell, would only be willing to do it if the price involved a significant premium which would also cover a part of the expected profitability strengthening.
At the same time, the Greek Communist Government is trying to resurrect the public health system, both the primary and the secondary one, which has completely collapsed, using community funds and being indifferent towards the survival of the private sector, but without a response from the medical industry.
Since 44 years, it is the only Government, which Ministers do not meet with and consult the institutional bodies of the Economy, including health.
Under the pressure from the European Union Troika, which has set, as a precondition for the assessment of the coming May, the consolidation and modernization of the legal framework for the operation of private clinics, a committee of seven members with 6 state officials and one private citizen only, a representative of private clinics, the President of the Pan-Hellenic Association of Private Clinics and a member of the Board of Directors of UEHP, meets every week.
There are many disagreements among the committee so that there is still a long way to go to reach a consensus framework for private care, which should be functional, viable and accessible to patients, without any distortions and without a tight, unnecessary, bureaucratic, punitive and risky -regarding its operation- state control, as opposed to the public system, where other operating rules apply.
Concluding, the end of 2018 shall see major changes and reclassifications for the healthcare sector in Greece, the results of which can not be foreseen today.
The Health System Users Foundation
Created in 2016 on the French Federation Private Hospitals’ initiative, the Health System Users Foundation aims to improve the organisation of the health system and enhance progresses in Health democracy and defend patients rights. Presided by Jean Leonetti, former Minister and médical doctor, also known for his engagement in end-of-life care, the foundation gathers patients associations members and health care professionals.
The foundation sustains projects that promote prevention, the improvement of quality of care, as well as actions in favour of access to care, access to personal data or the dévelopment of practices that guaranty a free and informed patient consent.
In the frame of a call for projects, the Health System Users Foundation supports financially and with an award initiatives recommended by patient associations, volunteer associations, healthcare institutions, in France. Selected projects have to be innovative and have to bring an added value to patients and those around them.
Medicover, a private hospital group on the rise
Medicover Poland is part of Medicover, a leading international provider of healthcare and diagnostic services, operating since 1995. At the end of 2017, Medicover was taking care of over one million patients throughout the world. The company is present in all regions of Poland as one of the leaders on the private healthcare market. In 2009, the company opened its own multi-profile Medicover hospital in the Warsaw's district of Wilanów, which provides patients with comprehensive care, including laboratory and imaging diagnostics with the use of state-of-the-art equipment, as well as medical procedures, surgeries, and rehabilitation.
The Medicover Hospital is composed of eight specialised clinics, including obstetrics, surgery, internal diseases, anaesthesia and intensive care. In February this year, the hospital launched the Eye Surgery Clinic, which offers the latest methods of surgical correction of sight defects and cataract surgery. The scope of urology care has been extended to include prevention, diagnostics and the full range of operational activities (including robot-assisted da Vinci Surgery). In April this year, the Medicover Hospital was accredited by the Ministry of Health, which is the confirmation of high quality standards and safety of treatment and services.
As the company is active in both private and corporate sectors, we can see a steady increase in the number of patients who decide in favour of hospital care packages. Consequently, in the coming years we intend to invest in medical competence, expanding our hospital offer with new specialisations and services. We keep on developing gynaecology and obstetrics intensively. Up to 2017, there were more than 5,000 births at our hospital. In the near future, as part of our day-and-night hospital admissions, emergency orthopaedic assistance services are going to be launched. Currently, the hospital provides 24-hour assistance for children and adults, 7 days a week, in the fields of internal medicine, paediatrics, child surgery, cardiology, adult surgery and gynaecology.
A clear market advantage of the Medicover Hospital is the quality of its services. In the next years, we intend to uphold this trend by investing in the implementation of innovations, purchasing modern medical equipment and building medical teams with complementary competencies. The hospital ensures the effectiveness of patient treatment, safety and access to modern solutions due to its cooperation with market leaders in selected therapeutic areas. These facilities include HIFU Clinic (Prostate Cancer Treatment Centre) and Rehasport Clinic, the leading Polish centre specialising in orthopaedics, rehabilitation and sport medicine.
27 - 29 May
Sitges, Spain
HIMSS Europe 2018 & Health 2.0 Conference
8 June
UEHP Council meeting
14 - 15 June
European Hospital Efficiency Forum
20 - 22 June
EHMA 2018 Annual Conference