Friday 29th June 2018  
A strong private sector
Europe is trying to renew the foreign policy and the partnership between Member States. Challenges concern economy perspectives and social protection. The growth in Eurozone is not sufficient to improve national budgets dedicated to healthcare. To optimize expenses, hospital performance indicators are required: quality, efficiency and sustainable development remain the major goals. During the Austrian Presidency Semester, UEHP is open to all initiatives demonstrating implication and coordination of the private sector. We present the first interview of a major European Hospital Group CEO, explaining the full involvement of professionals to implement today the care of tomorrow. Patient safety is the first attempt even uncertainty in health policy and economic regulation limits long term investment strategy. But the last decade demonstrated the development of the Hospital private sector in Europe. The recent BDPK annual meeting in Berlin with the participation of Jens Spahn, German Health Minister, confirms that Private Hospitals will offer modern and efficient solutions to all European citizens.
Dr Paul Garassus
President of UEHP
Welcome to PALMED
The Romanian Federation of Private Healthcare Providers is a new UEHP member
It is now official, PALMED joins UEHP. PALMED is doing lobbying and advocacy work and supports private healthcare providers in Romania and patients’ rights to become medical care at an affordable price, since its creation in 2007. PALMED currently counts 73 members: clinics and private hospitals, medical analysis laboratories, imaging centres, dental clinics, located in all regions of Romania. http://www.palmed-patronat.ro/ http://www.uehp.eu/members 
Ms Alida Gogescu, Secretary General of Palmed, Dr Paul Garassus, UEHP President during UEHP Council Meeting, Paris, 8 June 2018
Dr Garassus interviewed by HealthManagement.org
On the occasion of his participation to the conference Healthcare Business International 2018, Dr Garassus was interviewed by HealthManagement.org, a multidimensional health management and leadership portal, which serves as a key resource for information, studies and research.
HealthManagement.org - The Journal research and publications cover essential and substantial issues in healthcare on the topics of management, innovation, corporate governance, new techniques and technologies with the objective to simplify healthcare managers' decision-making process and enhance outcome efficiency. 
Dr Garassus was interviewed on the role of UEHP in Europe and the benefits of EU actions in health and care for patients and healthcare providers. Watch the full video interview here:
invited to the Digital Assembly 2018
On 25-26 June, the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union together with DG CNECT of the European Commission, organised the Digital Assembly 2018 held in the National Palace of Culture in Sofia, Bulgaria. 
The event marked the closure of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council, which will be followed by Austria, starting from 1st July 2018.
UEHP had the chance to be invited to attend this high level policy event on digital transformation that gathered more than 1,000 stakeholders representing institutions, public and private sectors, companies and universities coming from all over Europe.
This year's Digital Assembly came at a crucial time, particularly in view of the European Council's call for completion of the Digital Single Market by 2018 and the discussions of the Commission's proposal for the next Multiannual Financial Framework. 
During the first day speakers and panellists covered different and relevant topics, among which 
  • Free flow of non-personal data and the April 2018 Data Package;
  • European Electronic Communications Code;
  • the social and economic benefits of the digital transformation.
A remarkable step in digitalisation was the launch of the Digital Agenda for the Western Balkans, a letter of intent jointly signed by the ministries of Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia on cooperation in the field of connected and automated driving. 
On the second day, the conference focused on the digital transformation in healthcare, with a inspirational speech from Prof. Joanna J. Bryson (University of Bath) on Artificial Intelligence and a hard talk with Mr Roberto Viola, Director of DG CNECT. 
Other topics covered during the conference: 
  • Internet of Things (IoT);
  • Digital Skills;
  • Cybersecurity.
In addition to the very high quality of the panels, the participants had the chance to benefit from the networking sessions and the visit to the booths of the exhibitors and the virtual reality area, where the latest innovations in digital care were presented. 
Health First Europe
Health First Europe, which counts UEHP as a Board member, appointed a new Honorary President, Mr Roberto Bertollini (l. on the picture).
Health First Europe is a non-profit, non-commercial alliance of patients, healthcare workers, academics and healthcare experts and the medical technology industry. Launched in 2004, HFE advocates for equitable access for patients to modern, innovative and reliable medical technology to build better and safer healthcare systems in Europe. With a solid constituency of 24 pan-organisations including patient and healthcare professionals as well as of 32 Members of the European Parliament., HFE calls for truly patient-centred healthcare and believe that every European citizen should benefit from the best medical treatments available.
Under the new leadership, Health First Europe will intensify its efforts and initiatives to:
  • Prioritise the development of innovative and integrated model of organisation of care within the discussion on healthcare systems sustainability and efficiency;
  • Keep safety for patient and health workforce under the limelight of the EU institutional debate to implement safety policies in the EU;
  • Encourage key health stakeholders and policymakers make better plan and invest in early diagnosis and screening programmes as key enablers for saving lives while ensuring sustainability of our healthcare systems.
The European Commission proposes health recommendations to 12 EU countries
Country-specific recommendations related to health systems were addressed by the European Commission to twelve EU countries last May, 2018. These range from working to ensure their health systems are sustainable to strengthening primary care and reducing high out-of-pocket fees faced by EU citizens.
The goal of the European Commission is to help Member States identify priorities and provide them support to conduct structural reforms to make national health systems more effective, accessible and resilient. The Commission’s analysis and recommendations are based on a thorough assessment of the national situation and in particular on the knowledge brokering provided by the State of Health in the EU initiative.
Given the magnitude and complexity of the challenges in this area, change takes several years to take shape and deliver results. The recommendations are thus a strong encouragement to sustain the effort.
Private hospitals Factbook 2018
Private hospitals are economically more efficient than public and private-non-profit hospitals. This is the conclusion of the 4th edition of the RWI private clinics factbook 2018, which studies the evolution of the German hospital landscape since 1996.
The report points out that German private hospitals are more profitable than hospitals with other status. In 2016, 94% of private hospitals had the capacity to invest and therefore were in a position to maintain their assets. Generally, they receive less public funding, pay more taxes. Their evaluation is as good as hospitals with other status as regard to patient satisfaction and equipments. They register the highest productivity but the number of patients taken care per full time healthcare professional is approximately the same as in public and private-non-profit hospitals.
Overall, the market share of private hospitals has increased during the past ten years: +6,7% as regard to the number of private hospitals, +4,7% as regard to the number of beds, +4,1% as regard to the number of treated patients. Private hospitals are also more frequently involved in intensive medical care.
National Health Convention
Discuss the future of Health in Portugal
Oscar Gaspar, President of APHP, spoke during the National Health Convention. “In addition to fulfilling a major social function, ensuring the access of citizens to quality and cost-effective health care, the health sector has a fundamental economic relevance and a unique ability to generate value and create jobs.
The health sector represents about 90,000 companies in Portugal, almost 300,000 jobs, more than 27 billion euros of turnover and around 1.4 billion euros exports. It is responsible for more than 400 million euros of Investment in R&D.
Whatever the perspective, the health sector is essential for all of us. Health is not a cost, is an investment.
Until recently, the national health system and its public component, the NHS, have responded well, but now there are clear signs that we need a reform in order to ensure a comprehensive and universal health system, adequate to citizens' needs, efficient, sustainable, focused on value and health gains for the citizens, with motivated professionals and services of excellence.
The National Health Convention intended to be a contribute to this challenge.
The National Health Convention was the largest national debate on the present and future of Health in Portugal. The initiative counted on the High Sponsorship of the President of the Republic, which, assumed the inspiring idea of ​​bringing together all health stakeholders.
Health professionals associations, public, private and not for profit providers, patient associations, policy makers, the press, research centers and universities and concerned citizens have accepted the challenge of contributing to this great objective of discussing and giving future to the health system.
The first result of the Convention was to get us together, around the same table and to discuss openly and with a common goal. We had about 1,500 people registered, more than 100 speakers and we worked on 9 thematic conferences. Yet it is noteworthy that we were over 90 very different organizations and that we have given an example of dialogue and capacity to develop a proposal. The Portuguese Association of Private Hospitals (APHP) was in the organization of this Convention from the beginning and made a big contribution to the discussions.
The second major outcome of this Convention was the consolidation of an idea of ​​the Political Pact for Health, around an “Agenda for the decade”, for the future of the health system.
The third success of the Convention was the definition of a Health Agenda for the next Decade. It was possible to identify objectives and measures that we all believe should be the basis of health policy in the future. We have discussed themes like sustainability, financing and the future of health system. We promote discussions around items like "the citizen at the Center of the Health Care System", "Demographic Challenge: Birth and Active Aging Policies", "Public. Private. Social: The gains of the complementarity of the Health System "," How to adapt financing to the needs? "," Human Resources in Health: Training, Motivation and Leadership "," The economic value of Health ". Hans Martens for example exposed the challenges of health care systems and discussed some important issues such as a result of the health care approach, the investment in prevention, PPP as a way "to reduce waiting times, to save on public financing and to help save the European way".
Among the main conclusions I may highlight:
  1. Reinforcement of the idea that the citizen should be at the center of the health system. The health system, based on the NHS, wins with the complementarity and partnership of the private sector;
  2. The under-funding of the NHS should end and that this requires multiannual budgeting and increased public funding gradually approaching 6.5% of GDP, such as the OECD average
  3. The future goes through new approaches, increased innovation and digital and better information management. Someone said that information is the most wasted resource in the health system and we do not have the right to waste this asset.
The Agenda for the Decade is much more than a repository of ideas and intentions. It is the basis of a medium- and long-term vision for the health sector and, we believe, for the development of the country.
We assume the future of the health system as a national purpose.”
Oscar Gaspar, President of APHP
French Private Hospitals’ Awards
On Tuesday, June 19th, FHP organized in Paris the 10th edition of the “Trophées de l'Hospitalisation Privée”, the French private hospitals’ awards. Nine clinics and private hospitals were rewarded for their innovative projects.
The winners and the Jury’s “Coup de cœur” trophy were selected from nearly one hundred applications, by a jury of independent and recognized experts of the health sector. Jean Leonetti, former Minister and actual President of the Foundation of Healthcare system users, sponsored this 10th edition and presented the Jury’s "Coup de cœur” trophy. 
Discover the names of the nominees and winners of the 10th edition of French private hospitals’ awards: https://www.fhp.fr/1-fhp/7-presse/2008-/15096-10eme-edition-des.aspx
Contribution of FHP to the transformation strategy of the French health system
At a press conference on 17th May, Lamine Gharbi, President of FHP, released his proposals to truly transform the healthcare system in France, as part of the consultation opened by the Minister for Health, Agnès Buzyn.
The purpose of these proposals is to ensure equal access for all users to relevant and quality proven medical care. These proposals notably involve: adapting the financing of the health system; further medicalizing the evaluation of the quality of medical care, by using peer audit; reviewing the organization of health care provision and governance in France, by trusting patients and health actors. This contribution was given to the Minister for Health Agnès Buzyn and to the main actors of the healthcare system and of the institutional world. The President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, together with the Minister of Health, will soon announce measures to transform the French healthcare system.
Statement on collaboration between the Health Ministry and patient organizations
The Health Ministry, Patients’ Ombudsman and patient organizations have signed a statement on collaboration. “The dialogue with NGOs, both patient-focused and professional, is a priority for this health minister and for this government,” deputy health minister Józefa Szczurek-Żelazko said.
The deputy minister emphasized that the ministry wants the new solutions to be prepared “following a wide discussion” and accepted by the community. It is no less important, she said, that the proposals and comments made by the community be acceptable to the government. The purpose of the statement is also to improve the quality of health care, protection of patients’ rights and to popularize health education and prevention.
Polish government wants to have an increasing amount of influence on the pharma market
The pharma market was worth approximately PLN 38bn last year. In 2020 it will reach almost PLN 45bn. Poland is also becoming an increasingly significant drug exporter. According to the report “Directions 2018. State participation in selected sectors of the economy - the scale and conditions for success”, prepared by Bank DNB Polska and PwC, the pharma market is one sector of the economy in which state participation and expenditures are limited, but one where it has a substantial impact on the development of the market.
Among the key findings of the report:
  • Poland is the sixth largest market for medicines in Europe.
  • The central bank’s balance of payments in 4Q 2017 shows that the Polish exports grew by 7.9% to a large degree thanks to the sale of medicines.
  • Eurostat data shows that between 2001 and 2016 the exports of medicine from Poland grew by 14% p.a. on average. The biggest markets outside of the EU include Russia, the UAE and Norway.
  • Poland and France have the weakest negotiating position among the European countries. Their governments affect drug prices using soft tactics, by setting a co-payment up to a specific level.
Major private hospitals groups in Europe
Ramsay Générale de Santé, France
What is Ramsay Générale de Santé (RGDS) position in the French Healthcare market?
Ramsay Générale de Santé (RGDS) is the biggest French private hospital group, with 120 hospitals and health centres. It counts over 23.000 employees and 6.000 practitioners. Besides, RGDS detains 17 % of market share in France, offering medical care to 2 million patients, welcoming 32.000 newborns and 550.000 emergency care patients. One surgical operation out of 10 in France is performed by RGDS, taking a leading position in cancer treatment, orthopaedics, ophthalmology and cardiovascular surgery but also in dialysis treatment (figures 2017).
67 % of surgery performed in RGDS hospitals is ambulatory surgery (versus 50 % at national level).
150 million Euros are invested each year in the creation of new healthcare facilities, in the modernization of our hospitals or in new equipment and innovation.
What is the RGDS roadmap for the coming years?
Our group roadmap is called "Let’s DO IT 2020", D for digital, O for optimisation, I for innovation and T for talent.
The digital transformation process places customer experience as a main driver to define changes. In this respect, RGDS launched an online services portal, called "Ramsay Services” which aim is to “Simplify your health" with many applications like online registration, appointments and follow ups…
"Ramsay Start’Op !" is an organisational optimization programme, which defines for each hospital improvement goals in several fields: management, organisation of care delivery, logistics,… By 2019 all RGDS will have completed this program.
The third objective -Innovation - opens the boundaries of care and service delivery with differentiated and attractive offers to patients, doctors and employees. This means the integration of high tech in surgery, anaesthesia and radiology, the creation of new ways to accompany patients – some nurses are specially trained to support weak patients in cancerology, or coordinators do the link between the hospital and general practitioners.
To be prepared for the future means also to attract and retain talents in the long run, offer training possibilities and career opportunities for all employees.
RGDS hopes long-term benefits from its strategic transformation plan.
What are the latest news of the RGDS foundation?
RGDS has its own foundation, which main mission is to sustain projects related to prevention and public health. It has launched with INCO, an international global leader in new economy, "Prevent2CareLab", the first start-ups incubator dedicated to prevention of diseases. The first call for projects has just taken place and 13 start-ups will benefit from the programme during 9 months.
A recent project of the foundation is the creation of the first Observatory of stress. Supported by its scientific college, its 6.000 practitioners and 18.000 health care professionals, the foundation has published a cartography of stress and its associated health problems.
Otherwise also recently, RGDS has renewed its collaboration with Roche Laboratory, for the project "Personalized reimbursement project ", which is a collaboration with stakeholders to find innovative pricing solutions which can move pricing from volume-based to value-based, give payers and healthcare authorities more flexibility when it comes to reimbursement decisions, and ensure continued access to innovative medicines for patients.
What are the main challenges that the private healthcare sector in France is facing?
The health sector faces many challenges. In the long term: the evolution of patients and practitioners’ needs, the increase in chronic diseases, the ageing population, the development of ambulatory care ... In the short term: the strong pressure on tariffs, a complex legislative context, a market in overcapacity … "At RGDS, we see our leadership as a requirement to ensure the best quality care to our patients", declares Pascal Roché, General Manager of RGDS in the annual report.
18 - 20 July
Wuxi (China)
Hospital Management Asia: China Edition
28 September 2018
Warsaw (Poland)
UEHP Council meeting