Tuesday, 23rd July 2019  
Complex system analysis developed by Scientists can explore many fields: Europe, Democracy, Healthcare sector, Social context, etc. In the European Archipelago, a new elected Parliament will certainly orient positively Regulatory States and specific investments dedicated to modern Healthcare systems. 
In its position UEHP has to apply the principle of “Magnet Hospitals” able to attract a new generation of care givers in the “open space” we build and share, including incentives, IA and personal development. Big challenges are facing us. May summer break be a time to rest but also a time to explore and consider future perspectives and endeavours. I wish you all a nice summer vacation!  
Dr Paul Garassus
President of UEHP
A new President of the European Commission
On July, 16  the European Parliament plenary in Strasbourg elected Mrs Ursula von der Leyen as new President of the European Commission. 
She will start her work from 1 November 2019 for a period of five years. You can find her full opening Statement in the European Parliament Plenary Session in Strasbourg : here
Also, you can find here her full agenda, based on the following priorities:
  • A European Green Deal
  • An economy that works for people
  • A Europe fit for the digital age
  • Protecting our European way of life
  • A stronger Europe in the world
  • A new push for European democracy
The European union of Private Hospitals welcomes Mrs von der Leyen as new European Commission’s President-elect and we join some European organisations working in the healthcare field in Brussels which pointed out that Ursula von der Leyen’s medical background has a huge potential for all of us. Here you can find the press release on the actions needed in the healthcare sector published by the European Patient Forum: http://www.eu-patient.eu/News/News/Ursula-von-der-Leyen-election-patient-academic-public-health-NGOs-statement?sfns=mo
Call for proposals on eHealth
The Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) has opened a call for proposals on eHealth under the EU funding programme Connecting Europe Facility – Telecom.
The total budget earmarked for the co-financing of projects under this call for proposals is estimated at €5 million.
Under this call, proposals will be funded to support the deployment of generic services by Member States in the area of Patient Summary and ePrescription/eDispensation.
You can find the full text of the call for proposal : here
More information and how to apply: here
Finland has taken over the rotating Council presidency
On 1st July, Finland took over the rotating Council presidency from Romania. Ahead of this change, Finland published its programme for the next six months which touches on the economy of well-being in Europe and fostering growth.
Finland aims at achieving its goals through an increase of skilled workers in the EU, in particular by establishing more routes for legal migration, improving labour mobility and increasing women’s participation in the workforce.
The programme focuses on four key priorities including:
  • strengthening of common values and the rule of law;
  • making the EU more competitive and socially inclusive;
  • strengthening the EU’s position as a global leader in climate action;
  • protecting the security of citizens comprehensively.
Health is covered in the second point, in particular the promotion of occupational health and safety within the competences of the EU and the digitalisation of the sector.
Read the full presidency programme : here
The European Commission launches missions for cancer, climate, oceans and soil
On July, 4 the European Commission officially launched five major European research and innovation missions that will be part of Horizon Europe (the next EU framework programme for research and innovation replacing Horizon 2020) with the aim to deliver solutions to some of the greatest challenges facing our world, such as cancer, climate change, healthy oceans, climate-neutral cities and healthy soil and food.
The Commission’s report: Governing Missions in the European Union, sets out what it takes to make missions a success, by presenting recommendations on three essential elements to deliver impactful missions in the European Union: How to engage citizens in missions; how to ensure that public organisations are optimally equipped to implement missions; and how to optimise finance and funding for missions. Missions are one of the main novelties of Horizon Europe. They will make clear to citizens how the EU can make a real difference in their lives and in society as a whole.
The current five mission areas were identified during the negotiations of the Horizon Europe program. To narrow down the five board mission areas, the Commission is appointing a mission board for each area. By the end of 2019, the mission boards will identify the first possible specific missions, with a concrete target and timeline. The boards will discuss with citizens, stakeholders and experts from Member States at the first European Research and Innovation Days in Brussels from 24 to 26 September.
Private hospitals, summertime is coming
Grigoris Sarafianos, President of the Panhellenic Union of Private Hospitals
1/ What are the major challenges some of your hospital members are facing during summertime ?
We have to deal with emergency patients, basically tourists who visit big cities and many who visit the Greek islands.
2/ Does your Health Ministry have implemented a response plan to cope with heatwaves for instance, and/or your federation a set of recommendations to your hospital members ?
There is not a clear plan implemented by the Health Ministry. All clinics have air condition, which is not the case with public hospitals. Many of them don’t have air-conditioning systems.
The Sarafianos private hospital, Thessaloniki, in focus
How does the activity of the Sarafianos private hospital change in the summertime?
In the summertime, because of increased tourism flows, we have more emergency patients, mostly for general surgery and orthopedics. At the same time, most regular surgeries are scheduled for fall, from September onwards.
Which departments are the most impacted?
Orthopedics and cardiology.
Your clinic offers dialysis services for tourists, how does it work?
We offer dialysis services to patients that want to spend their holidays in the wider Thessaloniki region while still doing 4-hour dialysis sessions every other day. We attract patients from all around Europe, who find us through specialized websites for renal patients.
What is your plan to develop health tourism in your hospital?
There are two kinds of heath tourism: scheduled and emergency incidents. Unfortunately, the first type has not yet been adequately developed in Greece. On the other hand, the second type is at satisfactory level due to the significant increase of incoming tourists in the past few years.
Olga Schiopu, CEO at Medpark International Hospital
What are the major challenges some of your hospital members are facing during summertime?
Summertime for private hospitals in Moldova presents two strictly seasonal challenges.
First of them is sudden increase of gastrointestinal infections morbidity rate.  For private hospitals, that in most of the cases do not have specialized infectious diseases units, it is a challenge. Hospitals have to organize timely and efficient transfer of this patients’ category, in most of the cases pediatric cases, to specialized departments.
Second issue is double outpatient flow in month of august, month that is preferred for vacations by everyone. Moldova has according to official statistics more than 300.000 work emigrants’, this is almost ¼ of population at working age and vast majority of this people are coming home for summer vacation. In latest 5-6 years there is an increasing trends of health checkup in this population and this of course is a very good trend showing higher health responsibility and awareness, but for private medical facilities this is a real challenge. The private hospital has to find a way to keep most of medical staff at work in august in order to satisfy this doubled demand.
Does your Health Ministry have implemented a response plan to cope with heatwaves for instance, and/or your federation a set of recommendations to your hospital members ?
The heatwaves in summertime are something regular in Republic of Moldova, extreme temperatures occur each season. The Ministry of Health in order to cope with this phenomenon each June is launching awareness campaign for general population which contains instructions and advices regarding behavior, nutrition, hydration. For specific categories of population like cardiac patients, young children and elderly there are more detailed, adjusted for patients’ group advices.   In the periods of extreme temperatures Ministry of Health organize tents and water distribution in city centers, mobile health points, increase the number of ambulances on duty.
The Medpark International Hospital, Chișinău, in focus
Dr Aliona Bahnarel, COO
Medpark International Hospital being the biggest and most popular private healthcare provider in Republic of Moldova in the summertime faces increased demand for medical services. The structure of patients in summertime has some specificities. The biggest outpatient flow in summer are citizens of Moldova that work abroad and come for one-month vacation and usually in this vacation they are trying to solve all medical issues that have been postponed for 1 year.
In 2018 only for this category of population Medpark provided daily around 15 checkups, beside regular 10. Medical tourism is intensified in summertime due to the flow of patients that are coming for plastic/esthetic surgeries and procedures, again because of vacation people have some time to spend on private issues. Third patient flow are pregnant women coming for baby delivery. In summertime public maternities close units for renovation works and deep cleaning, thus Medpark maternity has to face double patient flow in august. For me as operational director is a challenge to organize all departments to face this burden of addressability.
Cristina Contel, President of the Spanish Alliance of Private Hospitals (ASPE)
What are the major challenges some of your hospital members are facing during summertime ?
Reductions in working hours, the closings of some centers in the afternoon and holidays are some of the problems related to the lack of health professionals.
All this will add to the fact that thousands of tourists will be victims of fraudulent practices when They buy policies that include health care coverage but that, in reality, prevent them from accessing private clinics and hospitals.
About this...The Spanish Private Healthcare Alliance has announced a plan consisting of 10 measures to tackle the systematic fraud committed by several British insurance firms, which act with impunity in the face of the passivity of the British and Spanish authorities.
Does your Health Ministry have implemented a response plan to cope with heatwaves for instance, and/or your federation a set of recommendations to your hospital members ?
In general, we have not implemented a response plan because each hospital acts individually. However, since ASPE We have posted on our social networks  a series of tips for the summer.
1/ How does the activity of your hospital change during summertime?
The activity in our hospitals decreases. Mainly because if there’s no urgency in taking care of a pathology patients rather postpone their appoiment or treatment.
2/ Which departments are the most impacted?
Surgeries decrease substantially. In the first place because the after surgery could ruin vacation. On top of it, the temperature in Valencia during summer can rise quite high, which adds discomfort to the whole process
3/ What is the biggest challenge for your hospital during summertime?
The Comunidad Valenciana is a big destination for summer vacation. There’re tands of people away from their motherland that may need health care while travelling. Taking care of them is a challenge for our hospitals.
1/ How does the activity of your hospital change during summertime?
The activity in our hospital decreases, both on the part of the patients and on the part of the hospital staff, except the oncological patients who stay in the same period of the year with the same assiduity.
2/ Which departments are the most impacted?
The surgical activity and nurse activity decreases in the summer season not only because professionals take vacations but,there are also many patients who prefer, if it is not a severe pathology, do not operate in summer. Urgencies also reduce their activity due to the drop in patients.
3/ What is the biggest challenge for your hospital during summertime?
During the summer period, since there is a significant decrease in the pressure cause by care patient, it is necessary to plan ahead and adapt.
The biggest challenge is to adequatly plan and produce viable schedules which are met at all times by all departments so that the hospital can function normally.
1/ How does the activity of your hospital change during summertime?
The Hospital Vithas Nuestra Señora de Fátima is a private center arranged with the public health system in Galicia. Therefore, it receives patients from public health throughout the full year. In the summer period, the percentage of private patients decreases and the percentage of patients coming from the lists of the Public Health System increases, in the same amount.
2/ Which departments are the most impacted?
The complexity of the Hospital Vithas Nuestra Señora de Fátima can attend to virtually any health problem that a person may have. Of course, during the summer the general and pediatric emergency teams are reforced; and, due to the most frequent illness, the Internal Medicine, Traumatology and Traffic Unit service.
3/ What is the biggest challenge for your hospital during summertime?
In summertime, the Hospital Vithas Nuestra Señora de Fátima reduce the work in those specialties in which temporality is important, as, for example, medicine and cosmetic surgery, which increases before the summer, decreases in the months of July and August. In September, the number of patients begins to grow.
1/ How does the activity of your hospital change during summertime?
The Vithas Virgen del Consuelo Hospital continues with its healthcare activity during the month of July. In August its activity and complexity decreased, establishing synergies with other hospitals of the group that are located in the same city and continues with its emergency and intensive care activity.
2/ Which departments are the most impacted?
The most affected service is surgical planning and outpatient medical consultations.
3/ What is the biggest challenge for your hospital during summertime?
The biggest challenge is to complete the refurbishment works of the facilities that are currently being carried out to adapt their service installations and improve the quality of care, which is expected to be completed during the month of September.
1/ How does the activity of your hospital change during summertime?
The Costa Azahar is a very important holiday and tourist destination and the Vithas Rey Don Jaime Hospital is the private center par excellence of the province, so its complexity and quality of care allow it to attend any health problem that a person may have during their holidays. In summer the general and pediatric emergency teams are reinforced.
2/ Which departments are the most impacted?
The Vithas Rey Don Jaime Hospital continues on the same line offering the same services to the patient as the rest of the year.
3/ What is the biggest challenge for your hospital during summertime?
The hospital continues with the same care activity providing comprehensive and quality care to patients. In this line, the emergencies and hospitalization services continue to be maintained, although there may be delays in summoning external consultations with a specific specialist because he is on vacation.
1/ How does the activity of your hospital change during summertime?
During the summer, our centres’ activity experiences an increase, mainly in general and specialized emergency services.
2/ Which departments are the most impacted?
The Department of Scheduled Surgical Interventions has the highest variability. During these months, there is a decreasing number of surgeries scheduled to patients.
3/ What is the biggest challenge for your hospital during summertime?
Our biggest challenge during this time of the year is to maintain the activity in specialized medical visits, while keeping offering consultations in all specialities regardless of the overall activity.
Ségolène Benhamou, President of FHP-MCO
Set up since 2004, following the fatal summer of 2003 in France, the « Plan canicule » (heat wave plan) is intended to inform and set up actions to protect people at risk in the event of hot weather. Activated every year between June 1st and August 31st, it has four levels. "Our health facilities are obviously on the alert. These are places of care but also of information of the public.
Our professionals significantly contribute to the ministerial awareness campaign on the good gestures to be adopted during times of high heat, relaying it to patients and visitors. We are familiar with this mission at the service of the population: health education, personalized care, emergency care in emergency services or in the many on-site consultation centers of our health facilities. Private hospitalization is a front-line actor, present in the territories, complementary to territorial medicine and public hospitals. In these periods of heat wave, the population and health authorities can count on clinics and private hospitals," says Ségolène Benhamou, President of FHP-MCO.
Hydration of patients first
At Clinique Saint Roch, a 50-bed multi-purpose facility located near Toulouse in southwestern France, where the average age of patients exceeds 80 years, a heat wave plan is activated as soon as the thermometer goes up! 
"We created two specific spots only to keep patients hydrated continuously throughout the day under the supervision of the care team," says Christine Marty, Assistant Director. These spots are created from the beginning of the heat wave alert and held until the end of the alert. 
"The hydrating teams are informed of the clinical data essential to the accomplishment of their missions (diabetic patients, swallowing disorders, patients requiring assistance with hydration, etc.). The distribution trolley is organized according to: syrup with sugar and no sugar, articulated straw, fresh water and temperate water. These hydrating professionals also receive behavioral instructions specific to each patient such as the respect of tastes, the management of the refusal, the quantification of the number of glasses drank by each patient, reporting difficulties, etc. Several reports are made between hydrating professionals and care teams at different times of the day to stay updated on the health conditions of the patients."
In addition to these measures, common sense actions are repeated such as ventilation of the rooms by opening the windows at night until the early morning, the opening of the doors to the air-conditioned common areas, the ventilation of all the rooms, and the accompaniment of the patients, several times a day, to the air-conditioned common parts. Finally, special attention is paid to the preparation of meals rich in hydration.
1/ How does the activity of your hospital change during summertime?
We have extensive experience in the medical care needed by our tourists, both Portuguese and foreign tourists, as all our units are located in touristic regions: the Algarve, Coastal Region of the Alentejo and the Island of Madeira.
The issue that arises in the summer is that medical care, especially emergency care, increases substantially, both adult and pediatric care.
 2/ Which departments are the most impacted?
The departments that receive the most impact during high season, in addition to the Emergency Units, are the Operating Theatres for traumatic (Orthopedic) and Surgical Emergencies and consequently, the In-Patients Unit where these patients are transferred for recovery.
Then there are two other services that end up having an exponential growth considering that emergency situations require complementary diagnostic tests: the Imaging Department and the Analysis Laboratory.
 3/ What is the biggest challenge for your hospital during summertime?
Maintaining personalized monitoring, but also quality and safety care. Our Units are accredited quality certified units. We are therefore required to always keep our high standards regardless of patient flow.
APHP and ASPE challenge Portugal and Spain to put the capacity of private hospitals at the service of the citizens.
During the 2nd Iberian Summit of Private Hospitals, which took place on 30 May in Lisbon, the Portuguese Association of Private Hospitals (APHP) and the Spanish Private Health Alliance (ASPE), representing the private hospitals of Portugal and Spain, presented 12 demands for the health sector.
In this joint Manifesto, Iberian hospitals place the citizen at the center of the system "to increase the value (value-based healthcare), to increase quality and efficiency, ie health gains, but also to contribute to the sustainability of the sector ". This is the vector they consider to be decisive for the provision of increasingly differentiated health care and to attract the necessary investment, also as a factor of the countries' competitiveness.
The 12 demands that private hospitals in Portugal and Spain believe to be common and necessary to the improvement of Iberian Health are:
  1. Embrace Health as a national priority, in each of the countries, in order to respond to the demographic and technological challenges and to the legitimate expectations of citizens;
  2. Make value for the patient the central point of all the reforms;
  3. Give greater responsibility and freedom of choice to the patient regarding their health, treatment and care (adequate financing, promotion of health insurance, etc.);
  4. Promote equality in access and in the providers´ licensing process between public and private providers;
  5. Improve the collection, treatment and transparency of health data and indicators to encourage informed decision-making by patients and funders;
  6. Promote competitiveness among providers, as well as among health system funders;
  7. Simplify bureaucracy and reduce market costs which distort the market and inhibit private investment in health;
  8. Rationalize services and consolidate health infrastructures in order to maintain the universal healthcare model;
  9. Make use of existing resources in each health system;
  10. Invest in technology as a means of providing community-based health care and reducing costs;
  11. Strengthen the mission of a truly independent regulatory body;
  12. Decouple the functions of financier and provider.
The presidents of APHP and ASPE in their speeches considered that, despite the ideological constraints that still persist, Portugal and Spain need to start a new cycle of public policies in the field of health, focused on citizens and results.
"Without prejudice to the structural character of the public institutions for the Portuguese NHS, it would be important for the development of the sector, but also for the expansion of provision and access to make efficient use of the resources within the system," said Oscar Gaspar, President of APHP.
In this perspective, he considered it unacceptable to maintain administrative obstacles to the initiative of the private sector, "all the more when it violates equity". Not wishing to elaborate on a number of so-called "context costs", the APHP President preferred to point out that "the excessive and discriminatory nature of the licensing process of private hospitals must be promptly eliminated "
Cristina Contel, President of ASPE, noted that: "The most important thing for the patient is not who owns the hospital where they are being treated, but rather issues such as quality of treatment, waiting times and health services".
The President of ASPE considered that "improving the performance of Iberian health systems will provide citizens with a health network that will protect and guide them (prevention), with correct and timely information (training), with simplicity of access (agility and transparency) and with a prompt, efficient and integrated response ".
For both presidents, freedom of choice, in a context of universal coverage, is the key vector to place health systems at the service of the citizen.
Dr. Paul Garassus, President of the European Union of Private Hospitalis (UEHP), pointed out that the current context of formation of the new European Parliament was the crucial moment to elucidate the new MEPs - especially those who deal directly with health and social protection - on the process optimization capacity of private hospitals, in order to present the best provision of health services. For Dr. Paul Garassus, private hospitals are top players in responding to the challenges of European health systems.
Portuguese government represented
At the 2nd Iberian Summit of Private Hospitals, the Portuguese Government was represented by two Secretaries of State: Eurico Brilhante Dias, Portuguese Secretary of State for Internationalization and Francisco Ramos, Assistant Secretary of State and Health. Both supported the initiative and encouraged the debate between Portuguese and Spanish about the organization and provision of health services.
"The role of private hospitals in the export of services is crucial, it is a role recognized by the Government, and in the area of ​​internationalization surely it is a strong partner to achieve these national goals," he said.
The Assistant Secretary of State and Health, Francisco Ramos, welcomed "the development and increasing capacity of private hospitals, whose performance is at the level of the best in the world". Francisco Ramos acknowledged that in the last 20 years, private hospitals in Portugal "went from a set of clinics to a sector where today there is an organized and differentiated offer, not evenly distributed throughout the c ountry yet, but on its way to be."
Spotlight on private emergency services
Media news of June and July were marked by strikes amid public emergency rooms. Doctors and health workers denounced a major congestion of emergency rooms and warned of its consequences over their working conditions and the quality of care for patients.
In this context, President of the FHP, Lamine Gharbi, spoke to the media to recall the existence of 126 private emergency rooms where nearly 3 million patients are taken care of each year. Still, the private emergency rooms remain underused. By doubling the number of patients admitted, private hospitals and clinics could usefully relieve public emergency rooms.
The President of FHP reminded in several radio and television shows that patients are cared under the same financial conditions in private or public emergencies rooms. TF1, the largest television channel in France, showed the optimal functioning of a private emergency room without obstruction and where patients are treated under the same financial conditions as in public hospital.
Following this media campaign, French Minister of Health, Agnès Buzyn, publicly acknowledged the importance of private emergency rooms when she appeared on the program "Le Grand Rendez-Vous" on the CNews channel.
FHP is now mobilizing to guarantee health workers from private emergency rooms the same bonuses announced by the Government for public emergency rooms teams.
24-26 September 2019
European Research and Innovation Days
30 September 2019
EU Health Programme High Level Conference
11 October 2019
UEHP Council Meeting
10 December 2019
UEHP - SHAM Master Class on Risk Management