Monday, 17th December 2018  
The power of commitment
The EU Health Summit in Brussels was the last major meeting where UEHP was a partner this year.
The place of patients´ associations represents added-value in all perspectives. In France, the FHP Convention invited Gérard Larcher, President of the French Senate confirming the role of private facilities in all territories. From big cities to rural areas, health access must be preserved for citizens. We are engaged in our European Private Hospitals Mapping project to demonstrate our full implication in providing the best offer in all regions.
UEHP is based on the exchange of international experiences but also on the dedication of its members and, in that regard, I would like to emphasise the major commitment of Alberta Sciachi. After holding a number of management positions within UEHP, including President and Vice-president, our dear colleague and friend leaves now the service of UEHP. On behalf of all of us, I want to thank Alberta Sciachi for her peerless commitment and passion during these past years, her engagement within our organization has been marked by outstanding efficiency and excellence. We will certainly keep in contact regarding international affairs and wish her all the best for the future.
Dr Paul Garassus
President of UEHP
EU HEALTH SUMMIT – A shared vision for health
On 29 November, 28 European organisations working in the healthcare sector jointly organised the first “EU HEALTH SUMMIT – A shared vision for health” in Brussels.
The European Union of Private Hospitals (UEHP) was among the 28 European organisations that teamed up to organise this forum to raise awareness on the topic of the Health in all policies: health matters to all and must remain on the top of the EU agenda!
The context - As we head towards the EU elections in 2019, citizens across Europe and our healthcare systems are facing unprecedented challenges from an ageing population, and increased prevalence of chronic disease driving rising demand on services. At the same time, rapidly advancing science is leading us into a new era of innovation from genomics to data analytics.
How we map the future of healthcare in Europe, making the most of the innovation at our fingertips in the context of health care systems struggling for resources, what is the role of the European Union in addressing these challenges and critically, how can different sectors converge to deliver the best outcomes for patients in Europe? These are the questions the EU Health Summit was aiming to answer. The EU Health Summit was conceived as a multi-stakeholder event organised from within and across the health community that seeks to bring together European leaders, policy makers and health stakeholders to discuss how Europe could develop and take the lead in areas such as research and innovation, health data and digital health, healthcare organisation and financing as well as health in all policies.
The aim - The aim of the Summit was to distil recommendations for the next European Commission and European Parliament to bring the necessary changes about. In fact, ahead of the EU Health Summit the 28 European partner organisations put together recommendations for a shared vision for the future of health in Europe, calling upon the next European Commission and European Parliament to bring about necessary changes. In their recommendations, they call for the European Commission, in particular, to have the tools and governance in place, including at high level, for ensuring a health perspective in all their policies, believing that the EU has an important role to play in ensuring a healthy future for Europe. In particular, the set of ten key recommendations for EU action for a healthier Europe includes:
  • Investing in and support the implementation of evidence-based programmes for prevention
  • Supporting the implementation of standardised measurements of health outcomes and healthy life years
  • Identifying and spread best practice in medical practice and care pathways
  • Supporting health system reform and capacity building
  • Establishing a Forum for better access to health innovation
  • Facilitating multi-stakeholder partnerships with regions and cities
  • The European Commission should have a Vice-President for health to ensure effective coordination and leadership at high level
  • Establishing a Steering Board for Health to ensure optimal coordination of research activities
  • Furthering the collaboration of public and private sectors in health research
  • Establishing a European Health Data Institute to produce a range of health data to inform the work of policymakers, researchers, industry and healthcare providers
Please find the recommendations here: key recommendations for a healthier Europe and recommendations in full
The day - The EU Health Summit saw a great and active participation throughout the whole day. More than 400 stakeholders coming from all over Europe gathered together to make their voice heard and to hear from the EU Commission and the EU Parliament, as well as from a selective panel of experts approaching the healthcare challenges from different perspectives.
After the detailed presentation from Mark Pearson (OECD) of the recently published study “Health a at Glance: Europe 2018” with a focus on the strategies to reduce wasteful spending in hospitals and pharmaceuticals, the morning session saw three panel discussions on “The value of Multi-stakeholders collaboration on health”, “threats an opportunities for health in Europe ahead of the 2019 EP elections” and “research and innovation”. After the panel discussions the participants had the chance to listen to the key note speech by Roberto Viola (Director General DG CNECT) on eHealth, Health Data, Digital Health, Super computers, AI.
The afternoon session saw other three group discussions on “Healthacre organisation and financing”, “policies for health” and “the challenges of today, the solutions for tomorrow”.
The agenda was complemented by the Video message “The EU added-value on health” from the Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, V. Andriukaitis.
In addition, the conference gave the participants the possibility to network and share their ideas in poublic during the working sessions, as well as in private during the specific networking moments, especially coinceived to facilitate the debate on the future of healthcare among stakeholers from the whole Europe.
Read the press release here: Stronger together for a healthier Europe.
For more information: https://www.euhealthsummit.eu/
Mobility of patients at the core of the discussion at EU and National level
During the last three years, the Directive on Cross-border Healthcare (2011/24/EU) has proven to clarify and guarantee patients' rights to receive healthcare in another Member State, according to the latest implementation report the European Commission published at the end of September 2018.  Nevertheless, patient mobility and its financial dimensions within the EU remain relatively low and the Cross-border Healthcare Directive has not resulted in a major budgetary impact on the sustainability of the national health systems.
The report also shows that patients are increasingly aware of their rights under the Directive, but still not sufficiently. Also, the quality of information through dedicated national websites (NCPs) also improved. The Directive has created a framework for cooperation between health systems especially in areas of Health Technology Assessment and eHealth. In addition, 24 thematic European Reference Networks (ERNs) for rare, complex and rare prevalence diseases have been established, bringing together more than 900 highly specialised healthcare units located in more than 300 hospitals across the EU. There are now also more than 200 virtual panels on patient cases operating under the ERNs. Overall, in terms of the numbers, cross-border patient mobility within the EU has slightly increased in the last three years, as citizens have more access to information. (https://ec.europa.eu/health/cross_border_care/overview_en)
In this context, the European Union of Private Hospitals (UEHP) has been monitoring the whole legislative procedure which brought to the adoption of the Directive, as well as its implementation throughout the years and among the different countries. The result of this work was a survey conducted among our members on the real state of the art of the functioning of the Directive on Cross-border Healthcare (2011/24/EU) in each country. Despite the huge potential of this Directive, the results of the survey showed some critical issues affecting the real implementation of the Directive, among which:
  • Poor citizens awareness of their rights
  • Lack of clear, structured and comprehensive information for patients seeking care abroad
  • Regulation 883/2004 or Directive 2011/24/EU?
  • Very limited involvement of the private sector
  • Administrative burden and time to handle the requests
  • Language barriers and dialogue among NCPs
  • Low reimbursement tariffs
  • Compulsory prior authorization for special treatments and hospitalisation
  • Divergent clinical guidelines among countries in EU
The UEHP Secretary General, Ms Giannico, was recently invited to speak about the position of private hospitals towards the implementation of the Directive at three different multi-stakeholders events, dealing with the topic from different perspectives:
  1. Athens Medical Leadership and Innovation Conference (AMLI – II) – Athens (Greece), 23-25 November;
  2. HTI Conference – European parliament, 26 November;
  3. Cross-border Benefits Alliance Europe conference – Brussels, 28 November.
Discussions during these three events showed the need for
  • Improvement of communication with all the actors involved at all levels (user friendly, high quality and effective information on NCPs website)
  • More integration in healthcare (enhance cooperation between healthcare providers, patients organisations and social insurances)
  • Guidelines on a common European accounting system (eligible costs, reimboursement, time for payment, etc.)
We must work all together to enforcing patients’ rights to seek health and care abroad!
Partner of the Health Tourism Industry Conference 2019
The European Union of Private Hospitals is supporting partner of the Health Tourism Industry Conference 2019 (HTI – IMTM), which will take place in Tel Aviv on 12-13 February 2019.
The conference will be taking place on 12-13 February 2019 in Tel Aviv, during the 25th anniversary of IMTM International Tourism Exhibition. At this event the organisers expect 200 conference participants, 25.000 visitors, 50+ Israeli and CIS medical buyers, 12 country delegations, and 30+ Israeli and CIS countries private hospitals.
Also, on the 13 February, visits to local hospitals such as Ben Levenshtein, Sheba and Asuta will be organised.
Participation is free of charge! Sponsoring and exhibiting opportunities are also available: https://www.hticonference.com/sponsors/
UEHP members & partners can benefit from a discount on the sponsoring and exhibiting fees!
Please contact UEHP SG, Ms Giannico, for more information: secretarygeneral@uehp.org
Download the brochure: here
More information here: https://www.hticonference.com/
EHMA Winter School 2019
The European Health Management Association (EHMA) is pleased to announce the launch of the EHMA 2019 Winter School on the theme of “Managing Digital Innovation in Healthcare”, organised in collaboration with EHMA Programme Directors’ Group. The Winter School will take place on 5th – 7th February in Kloster Eberbach, Germany.
The program for the 2019 Winter School will feature three coaching sessions on the following topics:
  • The impact of digital innovation on health workforce and skill-mix by Prof. Dr. Walter Sermeus, KU Leuven
The session aims to understand the impact of digital innovation on jobs in the healthcare sector. What will be the impact on new competences and skill-mix? Which jobs will disappear? What will be the new jobs for the future? We will transform current data and future scenarios into a strategic health workforce plan for a health system or a healthcare organisation.
  • A new approach to developing Healthcare Leaders: taking a global perspective whilst retaining regional and local practice by Dr. Stephen Brookes and Dr. Jill McCarthy, University of Manchester
This session will provide a unique opportunity for healthcare leaders to adapt, engage and apply their leadership capability with a focus on the leadership role in promoting and empowering Digital Innovation through an applied leadership challenge grounded in action learning.
  • Teleneurology: Integrating neurological expertise through digital innovation by Dr. Axel Kaehne, Edge Hill University, UK
The session will explore the use of technology in a neurological service facilitating an integrated care model between clinicians across acute treatment centres to increase shared clinical expertise and support clinical decision making to improve patient safety and patient outcomes.
You can find additional information on the dedicated EHMA 2019 Winter School webpage and in the flyer attached. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the EHMA Secretariat at federica.margheri@ehma.org or +32 (0)2 502 65 25.
Release of the report “Health at a Glance: Europe”
The European Commission has just relased its new Health at a Glance: Europe for 2018.
The 2018 “Health at a Glance: Europe” joint report of the European Commission and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) issued on November, 22 shows that the steady increase of life expectancy has slowed down and that large gaps across and within countries persist, notably leaving people with a low level of education by the wayside. This report is based upon comparative analyses of the health status of EU citizens and the performance of the health systems in the 28 Member States, 5 candidate countries and 3 EFTA countries.
In addition to chapters containing statistical indicators for 35 European countries, the 2018 report includes two cross-cutting chapters on EU political priorities: promoting mental health and reducing inefficient spending.
Key findings of 2018 “Health at a Glance: Europe”
  • Until recently, life expectancy was rising rapidly and steadily across EU countries. However, since 2011, the gains in life expectancy have slowed down markedly. Moreover, large disparities in life expectancy persist not only by sex but also by socioeconomic status. For instance, on average across the EU, 30-year-old men with a low level of education can expect to live about 8 years less than those with a university degree.
  • Evidence from various countries suggests that up to 20 % of health spending could be reallocated for better use. A mix of policy levers could optimise spending by ensuring value for money, for example in the selection and coverage or procurement and pricing of pharmaceutics through Health Technology Assessment.
  • Over 84,000 people died of the consequences of mental health problems across Europe in 2015. The total costs arising from mental health problems are estimated to amount to over EUR 600 billion per year.
  • Nearly 40% of adolescents report at least one binge-drinking event in the preceding month. Although alcohol control policies have helped reduce overall alcohol consumption in several EU countries, heavy alcohol consumption among both adolescents and adults remains an important public health issue.
  • Low-income households are five times more likely to report unmet care needs than high-income households.
Please find more information, as well as the full report and the executive summary here: https://ec.europa.eu/health/state/glance_en.
Survey of healthcare workers knowledge and attitudes about antibiotics and antibiotic resistance
Advance notice :
In January 2019 UEHP will be cascading the link to an ECDC-funded survey to assess healthcare workers knowledge and attitudes about antibiotics and antibiotic resistance. The aim of the survey is to have a robust return of 10,000+ responses across the EU/EEA member states with representation from healthcare workers (doctors, nurses and midwives, dentists, pharmacists, other healthcare workers such as hospital managers, allied health professionals, and technicians). ECDC is also seeking responses from health students.
The overall objectives of the study for ECDC are:
  • To fill in gaps in terms of evaluation of communication campaigns targeting healthcare workers, and
  • To gain a better understanding of their knowledge and perceptions to provide a base to support future needs in terms of policy and education changes.
Please put this in your planning calendar so that once you receive this survey link you are able to kindly disseminate throughout your national professional networks, groups and healthcare settings.
UEHP has been involved in the drafting of the survey from the beginning, together with other umbrella associations representing the most important stakeholders in the healthcare sector.
We hope for the maximum participation to this survey from our members to give a consistent contribution in the field of knowledge and attitudes about antibiotics and antibiotic resistance.
The challenges of the Italian health system
“Over the last five years the Italian public health system had to face important challenges: limiting spending, not adequately addressing the inefficiencies of the "machine”, transferring as much as possible the action of the spending review on funding granted to accredited private parties and giving rise to a de facto rationing of the services provided to users. These situation is further evidenced by the trend of several phenomena:
the growing dissatisfaction with the health system in the home Region (rising to 32.2% in 2017, and even 51.3% in the South); the difficulty of finding reliable information when choosing the most suitable hospital for the patient ; the slight and/or lack of feeling of "being placed at the center" as patients; the inadequate link between the phase of hospital discharge and that of access to social assistance-post-hospitalization services; the repeated postponing and/or foregoing of care by people who needed it.
To deal with the problems that have gradually accumulated (and worsened), especially in the last 6-7 years, a set of reaction strategies have been enacted by patients and their families, these may include: recourse to accredited private hospitals or paid private clinics, as an alternative to public facilities (41% in the first case and 20% in the second case), most especially given the reduced waiting time for services and greater trust in the accredited hospital and doctors that work there; the use of hospitals in Regions other than the one in which they live, with reasons correlated to the higher quality of hospital services, the presence of trusted medical personnel and specializations that do not exist in the regional facilities, as well as due to long waiting lists; making use of accredited private hospitals as an alternative to public ones, awareness of the ability to do so without additional burdens for users having gradually increased (from 35.5% in 2009 to 39.3% in 2017), turning to hospitals located outside the home Region (by 31% -32% of the citizens interviewed) or even by seeking healthcare and hospital services at facilities in other countries of the EU (increased from 14.1% in 2013 to 18.5% in 2017). Finally, a fundamental strategy employed is that of out-of-pocket spending by Italian families. This expenditure has increased by 22.4% over the last 10 years, while total public health expenditure has risen by only 14.2% at current prices.
The capacity of the public hospital system to deal with its inefficiencies is still largely an issue that has not been adequately resolved (as is also attested to by an examination of the Hospital Centers' Financial Statements). All of the considerations make it possible to state that the Healthcare Agreement based on the principles of universality and inclusiveness, which we have enjoyed for almost forty years, is now significantly weakened and indeed is at risk of a serious breakdown. The truth is that the time has come to attempt a transition to a New Healthcare Agreement, while at present we are limited to intertwining the deterioration/rationing of services with the reactive behaviors that users are able to put in place.
In reality, we should take note of the situation and recognize the existence of a "gap" between the inevitable increase in current and future coverage needs and the need to continue to increase the relative public expenditure in a consistent manner. This brings us then to set forth an inevitable redesign scenario in order to more stably balance needs, on the one hand, and public resources, on the other.
All of this will therefore require rethinking our health and social welfare system which: on the one hand, should (hopefully) retain its universal and inclusive nature as much as possible for the most serious needs, and on the other hand, introduces a "responsibility commitment" for all of the parties involved, without exception: public system, insurance system, corporate representation system, workers' representation system, individual citizens and families. The adoption of this responsibility commitment is essential for the gradual construction of a New-Healthcare Agreement that must be held together by a three-fold bond.
The first of these is that which must tie public funding to the responsibility of the healthcare "machine" to undertake an in-depth restructuring and reorganization. Cost cutting alone is not enough, as has also clearly emerged from the experiences with debt rescheduling plans and commissioners, which have led to a deterioration and a rationing of services for patients. But this first bond also implies having full and detailed transparency of the financial statements as well as the levels of effectiveness of the care activities (by number and quality of services provided) so as to "free up" some additional resources to invest in innovation, restructuring/reorganization, and the incorporation of new personnel.
At present we are faced with a moving picture, but it is becoming increasingly important to reorder the responsibilities, roles and resources of the various parties, while avoiding solutions that are as extreme as they are unworkable in their conception such as, on the one hand the nostalgia for "old-fashioned social assistance" and, on the other hand, the aspiration for "completely privatized social assistance".
By Nadio Delai President of ERMENEIA. ERMENEIA is a company specialized in providing analytical and consulting activities to public and private clients.
Private Hospitals Trophies 2018
The 11th edition rewarded 9 private hospitals for their innovation and commitment to serve patient.
FHP (French Federation of Private Hospitals) presented Wednesday, December 12th its annual Trophies which reward outstanding initiatives implemented by private clinics and hospitals.
The winners were selected by a jury of recognized and independent personalities from the health sector in four categories:
  • Innovative organization of the health care pathway (new category)
  • Socially responsible clinic
  • Patient relation
  • Medical excellence
"Every year, it is with great emotion that I present these trophies," said Lamine Gharbi, president of FHP. "In fact, even if these trophies represent a reward, they are above all the recognition of the commitment of all our establishments to serve the 9 million patients they welcome every year. This commitment is made of competence, enthusiasm and a lot of work. It is the guarantor of the quality of the care provided in our 1030 private clinics and hospitals. It is a real sense of pride for me to highlight the institutions and teams that embody this ongoing mobilization of private hospitals, despite the difficulties sometimes encountered."
The winners
Category innovative organization of the health care pathway
- Winner: Clinique Provence Bourbonne (Aubagne) for the project "A Serious Game" involving patients in their rehabilitation in neurological reha centers. The goal of this "serious game" called S'TIM (esteem) is to help patients recover their cognitive and executive functions such as locating themselves in time and space, planning a task and adapting to a context.
Category socially responsible clinic
- Winner: Clinique de Miremont (Badens) for the project "Clinique de Miremont: from chaos to a beautiful renaissance, or how to recover performance through well-being at work". The goal of this initiative is to make the quality of life at work a fundamental value and a priority within the Clinique de Miremont to implement a culture of performance through well-being.
Category : Patient relation
- Winner: Clinique de l'Union (Saint-Jean) at Saint Jean for the project "Sensoriality at the heart of the parent-child relation in neonatology". The goal is to allow mother and child to live together harmoniously thanks to rooms equipped with two distinct spaces and with a material protecting the neurosensory development of the babies from noise disturbance, luminous and tactile aggressions. This architecture adjusts to the constraints related to medical care and / or neurosensory disability of the parents.
Category Medical excellence
- Winner: Hôpital Privé Jean Mermoz, (Lyon) for the project "Pancreatic surgery with robotic assistance: feasibility pilot study". The project aims to reduce the mortality / morbidity rate and improve surgical efficiency, through the development of minimally invasive techniques (laparoscopic and robotic surgeries).
Jury's Coup de Coeur
- Winner: Polyclinique du Cotentin (Equeurdreville) for the project "Physician recruitment campaign:" We are Med'in Cherbourg, and you? ". Launched on social networks, this campaign is carried out by the practitioners of the Cotentin Polyclinic and the Cotentin Public Hospital Center (CHPC) aimed at current and future medical colleagues: "We are Med'in Cherbourg, and you? ". This innovative initiative makes it possible, within the framework of a precious public-private cooperation, to present a dynamic city whose population is attached to its territory, taking advantage in particular of sea leisure activities for an exceptional quality of life, with doctors proud of their working tool and very satisfied with their practice conditions in Cherbourg. This campaign, which is part of a territorial dynamic, benefits from the support of local businesses.
Hirslanden, the biggest private hospital group in Switzerland
What is the place of your hospitals group within the Swiss healthcare system?
Hirslanden is Switzerland's largest private hospital group and also the biggest medical service network. The Hirslanden Private Hospital Group consists of 18 hospitals in 11 cantons, many of which have an integrated outpatient surgery unit and a 24-hour emergency centre. The group also operates 4 outpatient clinics, 17 radiology and 5 radiotherapy institutes. The Hirslanden group has public service contracts in all of the cantons where Hislanden clinics are located, thus significantly contributing to the health care delivery of the Swiss population.
Interview with Urs Martin, head of Public Affairs
What are the latest news and projects in your clinic group?
A leading private hospital in Geneva - the Clinique des Grangettes - joined the group in September, strengthening Hirslanden’s presence in Switzerland. Our aim is to create interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral networks in order to maximize the benefits for patients.
To meet this goal, a high quality service level is essential, as attested by Hirslanden certifications and service contract agreements. The Klinik Hirslanden was for instance the first private hospital in Switzerland to successfully obtain the certification by the German Cancer Society for its centers specialized in breast and prostate cancers. Klinik Hirslanden was also the first private hospital in Switzerland to be accredited for strokes complex treatments.
Moreover, Hirslanden Private Hospital Group pays great importance to patient satisfaction, which is continuously monitored in all hospitals using the Press Ganey international measurement metrics. This year and for the first time, patient satisfaction results for all Hirslanden clinics have been published online.
What are the issues that most concern you in the coming years?
The ongoing evolution of the health policy framework will remain challenging in the coming years, especially since the consolidation of the healthcare sector in Switzerland is underway. Currently we are particularly busy with the shift in medical services from inpatient to outpatient care, as requested by our policy makers.
In your opinion, in which way does your group best contribute to public health in your country?
Hirslanden stands for first-class medical quality, ensured by highly qualified and experienced specialists. Interdisciplinary medical competence centers and specialized institutes enable optimal and individual treatments, even of highly complex cases. Outstanding certifications and awarded service contracts in the field of highly specialized medicine bear witness to the high quality standard.
What should be done to increase the proportion of private clinics in Europe?
This requires a clear political framework in the sense of a competition oriented health system. The decisive factor here is that both private and public hospitals have equal chances. In Switzerland, however, the multiple role of cantons leads to problematic conflicts of interest. Cantons operate public hospitals and are at the same time responsible for the supervision of all hospitals, the elaboration of the hospital planning and the cantonal hospital list*, the approval of tariffs and the planning of highly specialized medicine. This gives the cantons clear incentives to favor their own hospitals, thereby penalizing private hospitals, which ultimately leads to distortion of competition. Therefore, the multiple role of the cantons should be reconsidered.
* Health insurance companies reimburse a maximum of 45% of the price of a service, while the cantons pay the remaining 55%. However, to get the cantonal funding of 55%, a private clinic is required to be included on the cantonal hospital list.
8 February 2019
UEHP General Assembly
7 June 2019
UEHP Council Meeting